Amidst the chaos of this day, I decided to make chocolate mousse with a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Let me begin with the chaos. I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to a screaming baby. She is the sweetest doll of a child, but if the littlest thing is not right, she screams her adorable little head off in a not so adorable, inconsolable, obnoxious way. I attempted to comfort her as she writhed in my arms. We laid down in my bed and finally after an hour or so later she relented and feel asleep, only after she relieved her bowels. The whole event was particularly grating, because Andrew and I had been up late entertaining friends.
I awoke hours later to a ruckus in the next room. Alexander had diarrhea in his bed and he was covered head to toe. My husband was beginning to clean him up. The odor made me want to vomit. I was dizzy and confused. I never sleep this late. It was almost 9:00 a.m. Oh yes, and the baby still had a full stinky diaper. What a morning!
We spent considerable time cleaning and bathing the boy. We thought this event was due to Alexander taking lots of asthma medicine for an episode this week. After we had breakfast, we all went to the store. When we came home, Alexander threw-up. This time he was self-aware enough to not throw-up all over the house, but to do it in a bucket. (We have all had some form of this virus this week. It seems mild.)
Alexander went for a long nap at 1:30 p.m. Even though I had many baskets of laundry waiting to be washed, I decided that it was time to make chocolate mousse. I thought it would be a simple recipe, alas there are no simple french recipes. In the list of ingredients it called for “instant sugar” with a note saying, “very finely granulated.” I used some very finely granulated sugar my mother-in-law had bought for her candy making. This is where my catastrophe began.
I knew this was all wrong the instant I added the egg yoke. Instead of the yoke and sugar blending liquid it turned to a crunchy mess. After I melted the chocolate, my husband came in the kitchen to check the progress. I asked him if he thought Julia means powdered sugar. That is the only sugar that I could think would melt into egg yolk. I asked if he thought I should start over. He told me to continue. I did. It failed. Therefore, I made him go to the store for more chocolate and butter. I was not about to let this recipe conquer me so easily. I began again, with powdered sugar this time. Success!
The rest of the recipe seemed to go off without a hitch. By the time I was putting the product into bowls for refrigeration (4 hours of almost continuous cooking with a baby on my hip. And I think that explains the intensity of my catastrophe--hours on my feet in the kitchen; did I mention Kristiana broke a casserole from one of the lower cabinets.), my sister had called. I explained to her my situation with the mousse and that it still didn't seem right. She scoffed and said, “Why do you go to the effort to make these difficult recipes out of THAT book?” I scoffed back, “They are worth it.” However, I was not looking forward to eating this one later. BUT, I am happy to report after it cooled and set in the refrigerator it came out as the perfect mousse—redeemed.