My pillow turned to lumps and the mattress to board giving no rest for my writer’s block brain. The snoring of my contented husband caused me to envy his peace. I wanted to pinch him. I decided better and slipped out of bed. Having completed two best sellers (sold mainly to friends and family), the third of the series was somewhere inside, hiding.
I made my way to the kitchen and poured a glass of wine. Perhaps the liquid spirits would coax the book spirits to life. Thinking a distraction might help a cook book by our women’s group caught my eye. Sipping and skimming brought me to “Emily’s Chocolate Éclairs”. Perfect! I’ve never made éclairs but how hard could it be?
As I brought out the pans and ingredients all thoughts of adnerds, prenouns, mispeled werds, and dangling particles vanished. A second glass was poured.
Finishing the dough in no time I took out a large block of unsweetened chocolate, enough for my twelve éclairs. Whip cream was needed and I found the three cans bought on sale, “just in case”. And this was the case.
Having placed the chocolate in the double boiler and my dough on both oven racks, I relaxed, waiting for the stove buzzer to alert me. I opened a second bottle of wine. This is much easier than writing! Perhaps I’ll write a cook book as the sequel.
I must have closed my eyes “briefly” and thought the bedroom alarm clock rang. I tried to turn it off as I fell off my chair. Oh, yes, the oven.
My twelve neat cigar shaped rolls had turned into giant loaves almost filling the oven. I didn’t know my oven was that good: sort of like Jesus feeding the 5,000! This should impress the women’s group…well, they are bigger than my books.
“Fill the éclairs with whipped cream, pour over the melted chocolate, and dust with powered sugar”. Following Emily’s instructions prompted the need for more melted chocolate and another glass to celebrate.
I placed my creations outside by the swimming pool to cool and slid back to bed after savoring the last drops of wine while being thankful to remember to hide the empty bottles. I can get a little more sleep, it being Saturday and all. My husband will get the kids breakfast and I’ll be up in time for a midmorning treat: éclairs!
The kids crying and my husband's yell launched me from bed and a beautiful dream: baking desserts for the family.
Teetering down the stairs, my sons and their friends stared up at me. My husband was holding his hands behind him. My eyes finally focused: the boys’ chests were dark brown and their faces painted white. My husband slowly turned enough for me to see two empty wine bottles, He dug those out of the garbage?
“Honey, can I see you in the kitchen? Boys, please wait outside for a few minutes and don’t go back into the pool.” He’s probably upset about his cherished wine but the éclairs I made should soothe any hard feelings.
Entering the kitchen I noticed the trash can I must not have put back under the sink, the empty whipped cream cans sitting on top. My husband’s slight smile tells me I made an “oops”. “Honey, I know you have been under a lot of stress with the book and I appreciate you getting up and baking for us but, ah, I know what two glasses of wine will do to you. You’ve got some explaining to do to the kids.” I could tell he was trying very hard not to laugh.
“Explain?” My wifely “innocent expression” caused him to lose it. Trying to control himself, “Do you remember the boys had some friends overnight? Before I made them breakfast they wanted to go for a quick swim. They must have thought we had bought them new floatation devices and all of them grabbed one of your baked goodies and jumped in,” nodding towards the pool area. My éclairs were scattered with some dough residue floating on a brown skim.
WITHOUT explanation the boys all got showers to remove the chocolate and whipped cream caused when the “devices” exploded on impact with the water. They had to wait before swimming again to have the pool professionally cleaned (the puzzled pool cleaners also got no explanation).
Emily’s recipe did give me something to write about though.
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