Summit Up 11-10-10: Where meringue makes us blush
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s kind of in the mood for pie – we’re not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with this giant ad for pie that’s in the middle of our column today! And if there’s one thing we like better than pie, it’s free pie!
Speaking of pie, what the hell is meringue? We had some folks bring over a pie to our house the other night and it had like 3 inches of meringue stuff on top. It’s not whipped cream, it’s definitely not crust, and it’s not whatever goo is inside the pie that gives the pie its name (cherry, lemon, meatloaf, etc.). And, not being bakers, we had no idea how to make this stuff, but a quick whip-around the web informs us that meringue is basically just egg whites and sugar that’s been beaten to a pulp. You can also add a “binding agent” like (drum roll, please) cream of tartar, our favorite forgotten “spice.”
MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: Where’d the funny name come from? Is it furrin?
SU: Consult the Book of Wikipedia!
(more drum rolls, trumpet fanfare, etc.)
“The notion that meringue was invented in the Swiss town of Meiringen by an Italian chef named Gasparini is contested. It is more probable that the name meringue for this confection first appeared in print in François Massialot’s cookbook of 1692. The word meringue first appeared in English in 1706 in an English translation of Massialot’s book. Two considerably earlier seventeenth-century English manuscript books of recipes give instructions for confections that are recognizable as meringue, though called ‘white biskit bread’ in the book of recipes started in 1604 by Lady Elinor Fettiplace (c. 1570 – c. 1647) of Appleton in Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire), or called ‘pets’ in the manuscript of collected recipes written by Lady Rachel Fane (1612/13 – 1680), of Knole, Kent. Slowly baked meringues are still referred to as “pets” (meaning farts in French) in the Loire region in France due to their light and fluffy texture.”
Wow! We weren’t expecting that! Lady Rachel, we stand appalled!
Speaking of desserts and pie and the like, this is the time of year when you might be inspired to dabble in nog – that is, to purchase or make some kind of egg nog style beverage which, we believe, is the kind of thing you either love or hate (or you loved it as a kid but can’t abide its über-thick texture and cloying sweetness as an adult).
We’re aware that there’s an old nog tradition going back to Ye Olden Days in England and such places. We’re guessing the phlegmy nog you buy in the grocery store bears little resemblance to these nogs of yore, which were made with milk and sugar and eggs and probably old-timey stuff like treacle, grog, molasses wort and brimstone spirits. The “nog” part of its name, Wikipediat tells us, may stem from the word “noggin,” a Middle English term used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug used to serve alcohol.”
Who knew? Of course, one should always be careful consuming raw eggs of any kind, so if you do nog it up this holiday season, be sure to load in lots of rum or vodka or whatever to kill all those egg cooties.
OK, here’s a pretty sweet Angel Alert! Angel Alert! from Sandy Novotny in Frisco, who popped in to tell us this:
“Some of my friends and their children took me to the Log Cabin (Frisco) for a birthday lunch on Sunday. One of my friends made cupcakes and brought candles. She invited everyone in the Log to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ while I blew out my candles. A lady and gentleman whom none of us knew came over to the table and took our entire lunch bill for 12 people and paid it! We all want to thank them so much for making my birthday special.”
Nice! It just so happens we’ll be celebrating a birthday on Saturday at Le Chateau Maison d’Artagnan over there in Old Dillon, so if you nice folks want to pop by and sport the bill for us, we’ll be there. You can tell it’s us because there will be about 25 of us swilling Dom Perignon ’57 and some ancient Beluga caviar.
So with all this snow we’ve been getting, we’ve noticed a lot of people are getting in trouble out there on the road. We can’t help but notice that a lot of these folks have something in common: They are driving SUVs, and they are going TOO DAMN FAST! What is it about people (and by “people” we mean, for the most part, dorks from the Denver) in big trucks and SUVs who think that, because they have four-wheel drive, they are invulnerable – able to stop on a dime in an ice storm and capable of going 90 mph in a blizzard? Is a god complex an option one can purchase along with stability control and an undercoating job?
As you can see from this photo here, you don’t even have to be out on the road to encounter dorks in ditches. Sharon Siler came across this wayward SUV up in the Mayflower Gulch area, and she reports thusly:
“The icy and snowy road just a few feet past the parking area at Mayflower Gulch seems to attract idiot drivers! What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Four cars were vying for the most expensive towing bill. These drivers must not have noticed the huge ruts left by others who turned back and returned to the parking lot. There’s a reason why people park in the parking lot … I don’t know why the county doesn’t post Mayflower as non-motorized in winter?”
What Sharon didn’t hear was the driver grunting “Me got ’em SUV! Me drive anywhere! Ugh!” … just before he lurched into the ditch.
But hey, they keep our local tow truck drivers busy!
Man! This is a big hole to fill today! We’re not sure what the paper-making people were thinking when they put this thing together, but we’re running out of crap to say.
MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: Say something about eggplant.
SU: You mean aubergine? We much prefer the French word for it.
MSUR: If you will.
SU: What is you were to cook a bunch of aubergine and then serve it with gallons and gallons of egg nog. It’d be a real egg fest, so to speak, even though aubergine isn’t really made of eggs. We think they gave it that name because it looks a little gross and yoke-y in the middle. Which is why we prefer the aubergine thing. And we like saying haricots verts instead of green beans, but that’s just our elite liberal bias showing through.
Hey, looky! We got to the end!
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