My father's birthday is at the beginning of January. Dan and I don't usually spend New Year's Eve in Florida, so normally we send him gifts and a card by mail. But this year we were in town to celebrate, so naturally we had a little party with finger foods and festive banners and such.
My father and I are very alike. We are hard workers, enjoy birdwatching, have a serious affection for dogs, are graced with the exact same feet (only mine are slightly smaller, thankfully), and are generally big-hearted yet stubborn people. We also both love lemon meringue pie.
So instead of a birthday cake, I decided to make Dad a pie. First, I located a recipe online by someone whom I will not name (it rhymes with "Shmalton Schmown") that sounded promising. I made a tart-but-not-too-tart lemon filling, whipped egg whites into firm peaks, and baked the whole thing until it was golden and burnished on top. It chilled in the refrigerator overnight. I have to admit, I got a little excited.
But when I cut into the thing, the lemon filling pooled into yellow slop. The meringue broke free from the crust and floated around the center of the pie like a solitary island. Everyone averted their eyes. Luckily, I had made an extra chocolate pudding pie, which my Mom immediately started slicing up. Nothing to see here, folks! Back-up pies are always a good idea.
Nevertheless, Dad requested a slice of the lemon, so I cut him a wedge of crust and meringue and topped it with some of the filling. It slid around his plate, a soupy mess of a dessert. But he ate the whole slice with relish, proclaiming it delicious. Because that's what dads do.