Aug. 4th, 2016

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Back ago in the olden times, a friend was having a party. "Chaz," she said, "can you make dessert for thirty?" Sure, I could. So I invented my creme brulee double surprise [spoiler: the custard is chocolate, and underneath are the world's most perfect preserved cherries, which I used to buy loose from a giant jar in the Italian deli across town].

It became a signature dish of sorts, but I haven't been able to make it since I came to the US, because (a) no blowtorch and (b) no access to the world's most perfect cherries.

Last week, Sur La Table opened a new store perilously close to us, and I had a gift card. Didn't know what I wanted, when we went in - but almost the first thing I saw was a little jar of the world's most perfect preserved cherries (Amarena Fabbri griottes au sirop, since you ask). So of course I bought those and a blowtorch, and the chocolate cremes brulees are now in the oven, baking slowly in a bain marie. It's only a first step, because I cannot remember my old recipe, but little by little, trial by error, I'll get it right again.

And in another experiment there's a pork loin rubbed with smoked paprika and garlic, sitting on a bed of rosemary in John's old electric smoker in the yard. And as soon as the oven's free I'll bake some sesame buns, and...


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