Saturday, January 22, 2011
Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver.
Well, here it is. My dilemma. I PROMISED my daughter that I'd make a Salty Caramel Croquembouche. I said that I'd make it for Christmas morning...that was before I knew how many hours were required, how many eggs it took, how much skin I'd burn. Once I read over the recipe and saw that it was best served the same day, required 7 hours to make and put together, I began to back pedal. Yes, I even had her stop on Christmas Eve morning to pick up one of the required cheeses that my store was out of the day before. Let's not mention that I went to 3 stores looking for the right sized foam cone.
Well, needless to say, I didn't get to it on Christmas morning. I had all the ingredients sitting in the frig, beckoning me..."Cherie, you have all you need to make us...please let us see the light." New Years Eve came and went ... I thought I'd get to it then. I'll make it and take it to Columbus! It'll be a show stopper! Madison will have a mother that keeps her promises. Yeah Right!
January 6th I opened the frig and had to shut it immediately. I was a loser! Then, as quick as I became a loser, I saw the window of possibility open! She was coming up for MLK day! I'll make it and she'll be so surprised and I will have kept my promise. 16 eggs and 4 hours later...I have the Pate a choux puffs made. Now making cream puffs is kinda fun, but you need to practice and you need some patience. I lack on both. BUT...and that's a big BUT...I have them "resting" in a dish and they actually look good. Now for the salty caramel. It's so easy...a child could do it. 2 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 2/3 cup of water. Heat it up until golden, stirring constantly. Okay, not a problem. Gold...Golden...Burnt! Throw it out and watch more closely. Do it again. As soon as it's golden...level 1 I remove the caramel and place it in an ice bath...here is where I make mistake #2 - I don't take it out of the ice bath while dipping and in 4 minutes it's hard as a rock. OMG... batch 3... golden...Golden...remove from burner...BURNT! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Batch 4 - Perfect...dipping and placing on the cone...OMG...burnt finger..drop the cream puff...omg..omg...put hand in water...continue dipping and one cream puff falls off the cone into my palm...2nd degree burns. Continue dipping and crying and yelling at the Bouche! What? I'm out of caramel and I'm only 2/3rds the way up. Make 5th batch of salty caramel. So mad and hand hurting so bad that I'm about ready to throw this lovely promise out the window. 5th batch done. Tree finished. Caramel threads pulled around until I was "happy with it's appearance"
Final totals -
12 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 1/2
6 burns on my right hand...3 severe
2 burns on my left hand...1 severe
1 Promise Kept.
It did turn out just like the cover of the magazine. It looked awesome. I tasted awesome. Madison arrived and she was sick the entire visit....she didn't eat any of it. But I kept that promise.
Here's some food for thought...
perdition. ~Carl Jung
Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform. ~William Penn
Breach of promise is a base surrender of truth. ~Mohandas Gandhi
A promise is a debt. ~Proverb
Every one's a millionaire where promises are concerned. ~Author Unknown
In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer any one's letter. ~Chinese Proverb
I hope this gets you thinking about promises you may have made. Did you keep them...and at what cost?
Til we meet again...
Peace out my earth shakers - promise makers!