Monday, January 07, 2008

Amelia Bedelia is a Big Fat Phony

Yeah, you heard me. She's a big fat phony. I used to just be annoyed by her because she was just so incredibly STUPID, but now I have another bone to pick with the intellectually challenged house-keeper.

The Lemon Meringue Pie Lie.

Remember in her debut, Amelia decides to whip up a little Lemon Meringue Pie before she launches into her literal interpretations of the to-do list left for her by her new employers? She trots into the kitchen, adds a little of this and a pinch of that, all the while wearing her hand bag over her forearm) and then tosses a fully formed pie into the oven. My seven year old pointed out that this activity would have taken her no more than a half hour and probably not even that long because the "rich folks" that own the home left saying that they will return in an hour. In that time, in addition to whipping up her little phony pie, Bedelia changes the bathroom towels (by cutting designs in them), "dusts" the living room by standing (wearing her SHOES !) on the sofa and throwing dusting powder around the room, dresses the turkey in clothing - that she actually MAKES - and trims a steak in ribbons and bows. She also "puts out the lights" by hanging the bulbs out on the clothesline, draws the drapes (on an easel), and measures some rice (with a measuring tape). These activities alone should have taken up the better part of the hour, leaving her a very little time to make her little Lemon pie.

But, make the pie she does and it is such a success that it keeps her from being fired for her idiocy.

I guess that is my lead up to saying that there is NO WAY that one can make a Lemon Meringue pie in such a short period of time, unless one used a mix and a pre-made crust, which as the text clearly states and the illustrations show, Amelia does NOT do. She is, for all her other domestic shortcomings, a scratch baker.

I recently attempted to make a Lemon Meringue Pie at the request of my husband and son and I am here to tell you that it took me quite a bit longer than a half hour. More like an hour and a half, not counting the time it took for me to re-zest additional lemons after I mistakenly added the first zest to the egg whites instead of the lemon juice. I tried to get the zest out of the egg whites but after a few frantic attempts concluded that I would have to separate some additional eggs. THEN, my thermometer must not have been working because I blended the two parts of the filling prematurely and doing so necessitated a whole lot longer cooking process than promised by the recipe. By the time I finished the pie, with no purse on my tired arm by the way, I was so over that pie and I had worked up a little resentment over having been requested to make the dastardly thing in the first place.

I won't be making another any time soon. I'll just spend my time cleaning my house, intelligently.

So there Amelia.


Steph said...

But did it taste good? I'm sure - you made it!

Anonymous said...

Finally! NOW you must understand your eldest daughter's confusion with dusting. Just one of those good old fashion cleaning misunderstanding.

I bet the meringue would have tasted lovely with a hint of lemon zest. In her "Christmas 2006 Cookbook", Paula suggests an extra stick-a-budda-y'all too. But I'm not sure about her feelings on the matter in the 2007 edition.

Could you pass the sauce? Oh, there is no sauce.