Lemon Curd Will Not Defeat Me

As seems to happen with me, the thing I planned to write about this week is not what I am actually going to write about. I’ve learned not to get too hung up about it, because plans are good, but don’t always go the way we imagine. The plan started simply enough, make some cupcakes, but ultimately it took days to make the cupcakes because life wasn’t going to cooperate this time.

The first step of this recipe was easy enough. Make some blueberry goo. Check. Things went without a hitch. I was feeling good! Step two. Make some lemon curd. I gathered my supplies, made the mixture and proceeded to whisk away on my modification of a bain-marie (double boiler) created from a stainless steel saucepan with simmering water and a Pyrex bowl. I was whisking away, watching my curd begin to thicken and feeling pretty pleased with myself when suddenly the Pyrex bowl exploded. This is not an experience I would wish upon anyone. It was shocking and a bit traumatizing to say the least. There was glass everywhere, but miraculously, none of it hit me. I am not sure how I avoided any injury. There were shards, both large and small, that flew at least 6 feet away from where I was standing. Seeing how shocked I was, Tom quickly shooed me away and proceeded to carefully perform a glass abatement in the kitchen. There would be no lemon curd that day.

While Tom was cleaning up the tremendous mess I made, I texted Ray to tell him about my disaster. He was surprised just as I was and was pretty sure he’d used a Pyrex bowl a few weeks ago when we were making Grandma’s rice croquettes. I had used my large stainless steel bowl for the rice croquettes and have no idea why I bypassed stainless for the lemon curd. He also told me that he Googled “why did my py” and Google will automatically complete with “why did my Pyrex dish explode”. Apparently this is a thing people experience and it is a subject about which a lot is written. There is a lot of information out there about the formulations changing from borosilicate glass to soda lime glass, but I am relatively sure that the bowl I used was the original borosilicate glass based on the age of the bowl and the way in which it exploded. I have no idea if the age of the bowl was a factor or if my burner may have been turned up a touch too high, but what I do know is that I will never ever use a glass bowl in this manner again.

When I told my mother about the exploding Pyrex bowl, she berated me with a “who does that?”, but she did bring me a vintage Farberware double boiler the very next day. She was sorry for being a bit hard on me when she realized how bad the explosion had been, but still questioned the judgement of using a glass bowl as a double boiler. She was even more sorry when I told her that I had been making lemon curd and there would be none for her.

So, a few days later I took out some eggs to have another go at the curd. Right around the time I was planning to start, we got a Dinnerly delivery and discovered one of the ice packs had ruptured and there was a slimy, gooey mess (super absorbent polymer) all over the food. After spending an hour trying to clean and salvage what I could of the slimed up food, Tom came in, announced that he’d been in contact with Dinnerly and had gotten a full credit for the ruined food and tossed it in the garbage. There would again not be any lemon curd that day.

Was the third attempt going to be the charm? Actually it was. I took my eggs out and placed them in a bowl on the counter. Tom walked into the room saw the eggs and commented that “every time you take them out, we have a disaster”, but I was undeterred. With the exception of me miscounting my eggs and needing to pull one egg directly from the refrigerator to add to the six room temperature eggs, there were no problems. Even that didn’t seem to be a problem in the end and it certainly wasn’t going to stop me that day. I was determined not to let the lemon curd get the better of me. Success was mine. Such a long road for something as simple as a curd.

Lemon Curd

And the cupcakes? They were successfully made as well, although right before I made them as I was walking out to the mailbox, a couple of men from the water company called out to me to say that they were doing some work on the meter and I would not have running water for a short while. Really? Was there some higher force that was determined to never let me make these damned cupcakes? I patiently waited for the water to turn back on and then victoriously conquered the cupcake.

The moral of this story? Perseverance will get you there in the end, but maybe on a different timeline, and never ever ever use a glass bowl for your double boiler!

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