Ted (merovingian) wrote,

Wisdom Meringue Pie

Someone gave me some advice recently -- a coworker and mentor is away for a while and will be back soon, but I'm not sure what to do while she's gone. The advice that nameless someone gave me is this: if you've worked with her for so long you can probably predict what she would say. If something comes up when you need her advice, imagine what she'd advise.

Some part of me wants to say that that's the purpose of any long-term interaction: you find people who can give you good advice, and you become so close to those people that you have a little copy of them in your head, so whenever you need their advice, you can just listen to your own copy of their voice in your head and if you can keep that voice crisp and alive, then you'll always have their advice. You interact with people to make pirate copies of their wisdom.

I don't think that's true, though -- it's one benefit of interaction, but ultimate the purpose of a relationship is the relationship itself. The things you do together, the trust you build, the sense of not being alone. Meals together. Laughing when you're stressed out. Griping together because the world seems more real when you say it out loud. Affirming each others' realities. What you learn from them along the way is good, too, but if you treat people as songs that you play until you've got them memorized down to the last note and then you might as well throw out the CD because you don't need it any more, you'll miss out on most of the fun of it.

But there's certainly something to be said about absorbing the wisdom and perspective from your long-term interactions. Which is why, instead of treating it as the purpose of a working relationship, I'm going to treat it as a pie ingredient.

Wisdom Meringue Pie

Egg yolks, 4 (you'll probably use the whites in the meringue)
Corn starch, 1/3 cup
Water, 3/2 cups
Sugar (or coffee grounds if you prefer your pie to be bitter instead of sweet), 4/3 cups
Salt, one smidgeon
Butter, 3 pads
The wisdom of a person you admire, 1/2 cup
The still-fresh memory of their exact tone of voice, 1 tablespoon
Pre-baked pie shell, from a store
Meringue, from a better recipe

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or 375 degrees Celsius if you like the metric system and ruined desserts. Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside, not appreciating them until you really need them. Combine cornstarch, water, sugar and salt, then heat in a saucepan and bring to a boil for a minute. Stir it the whole time -- activity (plus the investment of our energy and willpower when times are tough) is the core element of human interaction. Relationships are what you do, not what you feel. Now pour the whisked yolks into there, apologetically, and turn the heat to low. Continue stirring. Cook for a minute then remove from heat. Gently stir in butter and emotional abstractions. Pour into a pie shell and top with meringue (the food not the dance) while the filling is still hot. Make sure you have a proper seal. Bake until meringue is golden. Cool on a wire rack and contemplate.

Serves one pie's worth of people. Call up to memory frequently or risk the wisdom fading.

Originally posted to my new DreamWidth recipe journal. You can comment there using your LiveJournal ID and password, thanks to the spooky Internet magic of OpenID.

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