How the Cuttlefish came to Be

Once upon a time I went shopping with dad last week. We parked in the parent-and-child parking, and as I was not a small child it was convenient that we also had Lily along with us.

Dad bought things like lentils and I bought things like chocolate and Lily didn’t buy anything but helped start conversations.

One of the things we found was a pack of game, such as one might use for making a game pie. (Not to be confused with International Pi day next month, dear reader.)

So very soon after I learnt how to make pastry and cooked a game pie. I did not pass Go and did not collect £200. It was not that sort of game. It was the sort of game where you find shot as you chew and you have to remember not to chew too hard, otherwise you take a chance and pay the dentist £100.

In order to make pastry for the first time in post-pregnancy memory, I had to use 2 egg yolks (the yellow bit) and leave the whites (the clear bit).

My husband, being a Clever Bloke, suggested that I use the remaining whites (still clear) to make a meringue. Ideally while the oven was still warm.

I read what St Delia of Norwich had to say and found the ingredients remarkably straightforward. 2 oz of caster sugar for each egg white (clear). ‘That’s fairly clear’ I thought. I did not think her idea of whisking until the eggs defied gravity suited my lifestyle of listening to a crying baby, so whusk until I felt ready to stop. At this point I added some of the sugar, and then all of it. I whusk and I whusk and I re-read the writings of St Delia and commited them to memory and I realised my error. There was no way I was going to create a meringue this way.

So I poured out the mixture (white) on to baking paper in a gooey line and cooked it. When I opened the oven this morning I discovered a surf board. So that was nice. Except it didn’t look very floaty or strong, and it was a bit little. So perhaps it was a cuttlefish in fact.



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