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.