The Perfect Popover
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” ~Erma Bombeck
I’m pretty sure everyone in my family will read that quote and think, “Me too.”
Not me. I will get there and throw my hands up and say, “Seriously?” People who know my family can see where I am about to take this entry.
A collective summary of Fedele talent:
• Artwork (oils, water-color, charcoal, wood print, sculpture)
I mean, I sing and dance for my dog – but he will have a sad look on his face. Like he is being punished.
Everything else – meh.
However, I can cook – absolutely. My Grandma Fedele would visit and cook the whole time. Filomena “Minnie” Fedele – she was 4’8” and always laughing and smiling. Tiny. I don’t recall ever seeing her eat, but she would get concerned if someone did not want second or third helpings. I miss her.
I would be outside playing and hear, “Ka-Skae..Viene qua!” (My mother’s name is Kay – so my name usually came out Ka-Skae) I learned to make different sauces, meats, homemade pasta, breads, pizza, soups, Lasagna – long list. My father has carried on this tradition with all his grandchildren, which is wonderful.
Now, if Grandma Minnie was to walk into my kitchen and open our refrigerator or pantry, she would ‘tsk, tsk, tsk’. Empty Nesters with a traveling husband – I don’t cook.
My dad and Wendy have asked when I’m going to make dinner for them. Oh HELL no.
Christmas 2003 – one week before my wedding – I was staying with Dad and Wendy and decided to make scrambled eggs. He was on the other side of their house and he sensed someone was in HIS kitchen. He comes in and starts to busy himself with absolutely nothing. Pacing. Anxious. I imagine he is saying in his mind over and over, “She’s touching my toys.. She’s touching my toys.”
So – I’m whisking.
Dad: “You are not doing it right.”
Me: “How can a person screw up whisking eggs?”
Dad; “Well, you’re doing it. You need to use your wrist – get more lift. Here, let me show you.”
Boom. Banished. Done. Dad made me breakfast.
Anyone who has had a seat at my father’s table knows they had an amazing and beautiful meal. I’m not even going to try and compete.
Then one day, dad tried his hand at Popovers. They were..ok.
I love Popovers. The Zodiac Room at Neiman-Marcus – hands down the best Popovers ever. Years ago, I worked across the street from Neiman’s downtown and went to Zodiac Room quite often. I haven’t been there for some time now, but I’m proud to say that I have since mastered Popovers. Don’t kid yourself – it’s an art. Much like Risotto – it takes patience and timing. Crispy and flaky on the outside – warm and eggy inside. Strawberry butter? Yes, please. Nutella with Strawberries? Even better.
Sorry dad – you’re just not doing it right.
Maybe if I roll on up to the Pearly gates with my Popovers and piping hot consommé, my teenage years can be wiped off the list.
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