Tres Leches and the broken heart

One of the downsides (upsides?) of my surgical recovery is the massive amount of time I spend on Pinterest. I feel sorry for everyone who follows me because I’ve turned into an erratic researcher who flits between my Zombie Takeover Prep board and my Preschool Ideas like a thirsty mosquito.

The board that has probably seen the most attention is my food board. I’m not a dessert maker but I can’t seem to get away from anything and everything sweet.

My father-in-law retired on Friday after 40 or so years in the health care industry, finishing his last decade+ at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Utah County as the hospital administrator. This is a major achievement and we’re all incredibly proud of him (but really just excited to have him around whenever we want).

They are coming this weekend to help out as Jason goes back to work tomorrow full time. I’m up way more and feeling good but oh, the swelling. The more I do the more I swell and it’s a painful irritant. I’d like to think I can do laundry and vacuum and reach way up high into the cupboard but that’s just stupid.

And so, what do you get when you combine mass Pinteresting + A Family Celebration + A Recovering Surgical Patient Who is Bored Out of Her Skull and Wants Something to do?

tres leches photoTres Leches.

I decided last night that I was going to get off the couch and make Tres Leches. It’s one of my current Pinterest obsessions and a dessert my girls and Jason love (and I’m pretty sure my FIL does as well). My girl Shannon came over to assist (make sure I didn’t kill myself) and the process began.

Holy Tres Leches, this is not a simple cake.

We spent over half an hour MIXING the darn thing. We’re talking a four or five bowl process with lots of separated eggs and whippings and foldings and siftings and cursings. I never could have done it without someone there reading off instructions and fetching hard to reach bowls. Half way through the process my entire incision began to throb and I knew I was in it, but what do you do? You commit.

Finally the beautifully folded batter went into the buttered baking pan and I lovingly slid it through the oven door, starting the timer on the stove for 40 minutes.

And that was just round one. I still had to put together the milk mixture. Gah.

I finally bid my dear Shannon goodbye and went to FaceTime Geneva, my long lost friend from Germany.

You know when you haven’t talked to your old friend in like, forever, and you have so much to say and kids to want to look at the screen…

Long story short, the timer when off. I didn’t hear it because it only beeped once. While I was busily gabbing away Rex, my darling 9-year-old, obediently turned off the timer and went back to watching his movie.

And the cake baked.

And baked.

And I smelled it baking.

And I wondered how long it had been in that oven but didn’t worry because I HAD SET THE TIMER.

Finally I said goodbye and followed my nose into the kitchen, glancing at the clock and realizing it had been way more than 40 minutes…like nearly an hour.

Oh the cake. It was so burned it had literally pulled away more than half an inch from the edges all around and was sitting in the pan like a hardened lump of stale bread.

So I yelled (which hurt my stomach). I yelled at my boy Rex who had no idea what the timer was for and had only turned it off because it seemed like the right thing to do. I yelled at him for ruining my cake and ruining Grandpa’s retirement dinner and ruining all my hard work and you just get yourself right to bed, young man!

Rex (my lightly Autistic sweetheart), burst into tears and apologized then raced to his room to hide under his blankets.

In less than five minutes I knew I had just burned way more than the cake. My Rex is tender-hearted to the extreme, when his sister Georgia kicks and hits him and I tell her she’s going to go to jail for assault and battery, he’s the one who cries and tells me it’s okay, she’s just little, can’t I please forgive her?

I trudged up the stairs to Rex’s room and there he was, cocooned beneath all his blankets. I peeled the layers back and told him how sorry I was and how it wasn’t his fault, what a good kind boy he is, how I knew he was just trying to do the right thing.

“Well-well-well, Mom,” he sobbed trying to cover his sweet face, “Ya just-just-just…ya broke my heart! That’s all, my heart is broke!”

Worst thing a mother can hear. I hate it when I break his heart (it’s happened once or twice before) but I kissed him and gave him space to mend. Bad Mother of the Week right here, people.

A good night’s rest works wonders and apparently so does Tres Leches because today when Rex woke up, he forgave me and asked if we could make a new cake together, a vanilla one. And when I checked the burned out husk of my Tres Leches (which Jason insisted I finish just in case the milk was magical) what do you think I found? A deliciously soppy Mexican dessert fit for a king…a retired king at least.