Umber (19.16 — Vera’s Story)

March 28, 2012 § 2 Comments

The tart had risen much higher than I expected, and the top crust had burnt black.  I scraped the cinders off the top, hoping to salvage the rest.  When I tried to cut it into serving-sized pieces, I realized I had forgotten to grease the pan, so the tart stuck to the bottom.  But at least the insides, which were mostly hot apricot jam, looked good, so I scooped some out in a dish and took it to Ervin.  He tasted it, then put the dish down on the porch floor. 

 “What’s the matter?” I asked. 

 “It tastes kind of odd.”

 I tried it.  The flavor was not the rapture-inducing ambrosia I had remembered.  It tasted like doughy fruit-flavored baking powder.  My apricot tart was a disaster.  I was a failure.  I hated cooking. 

 I was overcome with a sorrow all out of proportion to the mishaps of the day.  After a big, stomach-wrenching sob, I felt Ervin tug on my sleeve. “It’s alright, Verey, I don’t care.  You’re a good cook,” he lied.   I tried to compose myself, and eventually managed to give him a weak smile.  I noticed then that he looked just like my mother.  


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