Monday, June 22

Mice, Pie and Little Miss Sunshine

Three things happened this weekend. Alex earned enough money to buy her mice. I wasn't mentally prepared for that yet so we compromised and I took to to the store to by the cage and bedding.

Like I said before, I have had mice before so I had an idea of what I wanted. Alex has been dreaming of mice for months so she had ideas of her own. The "Princess keeper". A pink cage with a crown shaped feeding bowl. Cute. But when I opened the box and examined it, I decided that the cage might hold a hamster, but the bars were too far apart for a mouse. (Snowball (may she rest in peace) taught me that very valuable lesson). We did find a pink cage that I approved of and they even had matching pink bedding. I tried to talk Alex into the more economical kind, but she refused. Its her money so I let it go. I think wants she realizes how much of her allowance is going to line the bottom of that cage, she will change her tune.

Then Alex spent the night with her Aunt, 2 cousins and Great Grandmother so I was left with a night to myself. What did I do with my free time? I channel surfed and got to watch Little Miss Sunshine for the first time. Honestly, I don't have an explanation for not seeing it sooner. The year it came out I went with my friend to pick up a VW bus in California and drive it back to Texas. Number one comment from people who found out about the trip, "HAVE YOU SEEN LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE?" Also, both of my sisters have told me repeatedly that the little girl in the movie was me. And its true. If you ever want to know what I was like when I was little, watch this movie. Even her wardrobe looked like it was plucked out of my childhood. I had red cowboy boots that I wore every where. When we were young, and my dad played a lot of tennis, I would always cover my arms with his sweat bands. Even the dinosaur shirt looked exactly like the one that was my most favorite shirt in the world.But mine was blue. The other thing that stood out to me was how much the dad in that movie reminded me of my dad. Specifically, that scene where they are in the dinner and he is telling the little girl that eating ice cream will only make her a fat loser and he has no idea that the other people at the table are glaring at him ... that is my dad. And that is my family dealing with all the jerky insulting things that just seem to spew out of his mouth. He is always mystified by the fact that he is so misunderstood. He truly doesn't get why no one wants to hear him speak. Poor guy. Anyway, it was a great movie. I will have to watch it again when its not on TV, the cuss words aren't bleeped and its not interrupted by commercial breaks.

And the pie. Well. I made two. No actually four pies. I asked my dad what kind of cake he wanted me to bake him for Father's day. His reply "Chocolate Meringue Pie." (See what I mean about the jerky things just spewing from his mouth?) Could he not pick a harder thing? No problem. I put out an SOS out to the only two people I know who could possible have ever even attempted to make a pie. One told me to buy one, (which, in retrospect was very sage advise) and the other said, "It's easy". I didn't believe the easy bit, but I was persuaded to believe that, with a lot of guidance, it might be doable. I wasn't looking for perfectly formed peeks. I just wanted a pie with chocolate and a white something that at least tasted meringuish. I ended up with two disasters and two mushy messes.

I blame my sister Anna. I went to her house to make it because she was given a top of the line standing mixer as a wedding gift (one that they don't ever use). She distracted me with all her "help". All her talking made me laugh too much and I lost my concentration. Also I was so worried about the meringue, that I didn't worry about the filling. The filling, I knew would be easy. It wasn't. Armed with "Mema's receipt" (not my grandmother's my brother-in-law's) I started to make the pie. Crust, no problem. Looked beautiful. Filling, well lets just say that there is a distinct difference between adding egg whites and adding yokes and you need to be paying attention. If you add whites you will have an Alex in the kitchen telling you your hot chocolate smells good. You can't just pick out egg whites. First go-round botched, we set out to try again. The second time was much better. The filling looked like filling, although I should have cooked it a bit longer than I did, it tasted good and looked like a pie. Time for the meringue. There are a lot of tips that I could have, should have utilized at this stage, but after 5 hours of baking (and three trips to the store), I was ready to be done. We rushed and botched the job. The meringue tasted good, but it didn't set right. I know why. We stopped and started the mixing process which I am afraid ruined any chance of peeks we might have had. Sill, it was a pie and it tasted good. I know that I can do better. So I will make another one soon. Too soon for my families own comfort.

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