As I waited for the coffee to percolate in our cold kitchen this grey morning, in that “no man’s land” between happy Christmas and nervous New Year, I spotted a glint of gold through the oven window. A tray of meringues had spent the night in there becoming crisp and firming up their amorphous shapes. In these austere times making meringues imbues me with a sense of virtuous thrift. Virtuous thrift and I, having been total strangers for the greater part of life, are now joined at the hip. The “for better” part of this union includes the miracle of meringues. A few egg whites, dutifully saved from another penny pinching recipe, beaten with some sugar until glossy and stiff, are transformed, with the aid of a little heat, into golden (depending on the eggs) free form sculptures resembling frozen gobs of molten larva.