The temperature was about 75. No black flies to speak of, not yet. Lilacs in glorious full bloom, lawn freshly mowed and house pretty clean. All the pretty linen napkins crisply ironed. Various trays and pitchers polished and ready for the women’s group meeting next day.

Everything ready except the fancy dessert. The fancy dessert is going to be large lemons, a special order at Hannaford, scooped out — no small feat — and ready for filling. Filling with whipped cream and whipped egg whites and lemon juice and superfine sugar.

The lemons filled with that delicious mix will be frozen overnight and thawed 15 minutes before serving time. Lovely.

Pride goeth before a fall. Ain’t it the truth! I know how to do these special, showy dessert treats. Not my first time. Piece of cake, or lemon rind maybe. When presented with a sample taste of the filling my husband said — this was kind, but telling — “rare.”

Rare, all right. Strange. Possibly toxic, certainly not the stuff of a culinary triumph. Here’s what may have been the problem: the lemon juice extracted from the 18 large lemons could be, said the cookbook, frozen, then thawed when needed for the cream, egg whites, superfine concoction.

But, and here’s a new one, for me anyway: If you thaw frozen lemon juice in the microwave, something bad will happen to it. Maybe you already knew that?

I didn’t.

Know when to quit.

Nothing was going to redeem the lemon filling, not chocolate, nothing. Not quite ready to pitch the lot, but knowing the game was up, I called Hannaford. Fay answered. She connected me with the bakery and the bakery did have cheesecakes, and several could be set aside for next day’s tea party (not Tea Party).

There is a large life lesson in this experience: Sometimes, no matter how hard you work and think, even pray, the game is not going to go your way. Get over it, move on. Accept defeat. Shelve the dream. Dump the lemons.

But don’t forget: There’ll be another game! And, another column, we trust.

Heads up.

The River Valley is blessed with many very talented performers. Among the first and finest is Nancy Demings. Founder of the improv group Wing Nuts, she is getting ready for a one-woman show in the Rumford Falls Auditorium on June 26. It’s another performance sponsored by the Rumford Performing Arts Committee. Mark your calendars for an evening of naughty and nice — not too naughty and very, very nice.

Linda Farr Macgregor is a freelance writer; contact her: [email protected]


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