Amelia Bedelia is this children’s book character with whom I feel an immense bond. My affection towards Amelia is longstanding. See, she has the endearing (and all too familiar) tendency to botch up basic tasks. Not as a result of ineptitude or carelessness, but somehow, she simply gets lost in orbit. And while the world continues spinning, leaving her oblivious to the ABC’s of human existence, she reenters the troposphere a few screws short.
Example: When Amelia Bedelia is asked to make a sponge cake, she puts in real sponges. Or, when a recipe calls for dates, she cuts up the calendar, throwing in all the days, January through December. She’s literally minded. While “pitching a tent” is a figure of speech, Amelia throws the whole kit and caboodle into the woods. Like I said. A tad literal. All the while, she ponders to herself, “Isn’t this an odd way to do things?”
Bottom line, I can’t help but see inescapable similarities between Amelia and I (and I’m sure my family would be happy to give you innumerable examples.)
Just last week, I had an Amelia moment while making guacamole. “Here’s the juicer,” my friend said, handing me a handled device (aka: juicer) and a lime. Now, I go to culinary school and I’ve juiced limes, but having just come back from vacation in the ionosphere, I’d never used a juicer of this sort.
I came to four conclusions:
- Fake it ‘till you make it
- I must slice the lime in half for this to work
- I must stick the lime into the contraption
- I must squeeze the handle to squish le lime and procure the wanted juice
Well, for Amelia everything is self-explanatory and I’d just cut up a calendar into my cake batter.
I’d inserted the lime upside-down. My friend didn’t say a word to make me aware of my error, but instead, correctly used the contraption moments later and guess what? I learned that it helps when the exposed portion of the lime faces the holes from which the juice drains. Helpful for obtaining the desired juice, rather than simply obliterating the fruit into a pulverized mass. The mistake went unacknowledged, but I knew I’d made a most obvious mistake.
Amelia Bedelia strikes again.
But here is my favorite thing about Miss Amelia Bedelia. At the end of each tale, she always redeems herself, and even saves her job, by baking something so wonderful that all is forgiven. Using her own recipe in her own topsy-turvy mind, she creates something beautiful and irreplaceable. To mentally redeem myself and shake my own embarrassment, I had some baking to do. Stat.
I made macaroons.
Rosewater macaroons, with a creamy, lemon filling. And guess what? They were lovely. The cookies looked like satiny pink trinkets that I felt inclined to tuck away in my jewelry box. They were light and airy with slightly floral undertones, all complimented by the mildly citrus buttercream.
I have my Amelia moments, but I’ll take them in stride, so long as each day ends with a delicious slice of cake.