I struggled to compose the following paragraph. I worked on it for close to an hour before settling on what you are about to read. The solution: keep it honest, humble and to the point. Here we go:
2020 was awful. Covid has been and continues to be awful. The state of our country is a mess. I state the obvious because I don't want to appear to make light of all the suffering while I write this post. We've been fortunate enough to not be as negatively impacted like so many others. Our immediate families are healthy. My wife and I have retained our jobs and have been allowed to work from out of the house. We've cherished the forced time together and how much it has slowed us all down. But that enjoyment comes with guilt. How do we get to gloat when so many others would kill to be in our shoes? I guess we count our blessings and do all we can to be good neighbors and good humans. And we acknowledge it could all be gone just like that.
I've made a point to snap photos of our lives while in quarantine. I don't want the memories to fade once we're out of this. I need to recall:
My wife and daughter cutting my son's hair on our back deck.
Our building obsession with the avocado.
More family movie nights the past two months than there had been the past ten years.
Driving forty-five minutes both ways for our new favorite takeout joint.
The dog jumping from room to room and bed to bed in search of comfort.
Competing conference calls.
But one development stands above the others. My daughter jumped headfirst into baking and hasn't looked back. She plans on her own beyond a request for ingredients from the store. She experiments, she makes a mess and does a fair job of cleaning up (my assessment). And holy hell is it all delicious. I still haven't gotten over the pumpkin whoopie pies from back in the fall.
The experimentation is the most impressive. I can't even follow what she's saying but I'm thrilled with her passion and determination. She digs science and employs that into her baking. Better her than me.
Case in point: earlier today she made macarons. No not macaroons which I always believed to be the same thing, just with a different pronunciation. Kind of like toe-may-toe vs, toe-mah-toe. I never shared my misunderstanding with her. She can't have the leg up.
Here are the ones that "failed":
To me, they're way more interesting than the successes. Plus I'm not allowed to go anywhere near the good ones. My clumsiness has upped in intensity the past few months. Smart call on her part.
The failures were due to where they were placed in the oven (top vs. middle rack) and how long she allowed the dough (?) to sit out at room temperature. I think. And she set it up this way on purpose. This was her second run at attempting to perfect the macaron. She took detailed notes on what worked and what didn't.
I can't wait to see what comes next.