Looks fabulous, doesn't it? Well, so do the "Real Housewives," and we know what most of them are like inside — void of character.

I couldn’t blog yesterday not only because I was busy but because I had just too sad a story to tell. “Joy of Cooking” let me down. You may recall I made a lemon meringue pie for Husband, his favorite. This giant pie involved 8 eggs and was a Mess with a capital M; filling wouldn’t gel, everything tasted like cornstarch.

Tried again day before yesterday with a 3-egg recipe from “Joy of Cooking.” Meringue was lovely but I could tell even as I put it in the refrigerator that that lemon filling was again going to come out the texture of thick cream. And it did.

Don't know if you can tell in this picture but that's a spoon I'm using to scoop up the drowned crust and lemon "soup."

I had to go off to a meeting and left my husband a note apologizing for my failure. He replied that he loved it and I was under no circumstances to throw it out. He was actually upset this morning when he looked into the fridge and the pie was half gone; I explained that I’d put a big serving in his lunch. Then he was happy.

But I am NOT happy and I’m NOT going down. I’m going to take a break and make what looks like an interesting lemon chiffon pie from “Easy as Pie,” by John Phillip Carroll. I’ve STILL got Meyer lemons to use. If that works, I’ll try TDP (that damned pie) again.

How could it be that someone who can make gefilte fish from scratch, light and moist cakes and virtually anything Italian or Portuguese can’t bake a good pie? Dunno.

If anyone has a lemon filling for lemon meringue pie that does emerge silky, shimmering and gelled, PLEASE, I’m begging you, save my reputation. I’m afraid to go into the kitchen.

And while we’re on things I don’t understand: “Top Chef” fans, I’m talking to you. Why does ANYBODY attempt to do a risotto on that show? Nobody gets it right for Tom Colichio. Ever. Even Fabio. And desserts? Do not go there unless you’re a pastry chef (and you snuck a recipe into your luggage).

On the plus side, today I learned the secrets of making award-winning musubi from Manabu Asaoka of Mana-bu’s okazu. This guy (and his lovely wife, Fumiyo) can make a humble tuna mayo musubi into a delicacy fit for … well …  even Tom Colichio. The story on how to replicate his genius at home will appear in the Star-Advertiser in a couple of weeks.

Upcoming: celebrating Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath; starting promptly at 5:55 p.m., 18 minutes before sundown, with the lighting of the candles and a festive Sephardic-style chicken dish.