Happy Solitude    

October 3 1998
Begin the day with a friendly voice
or a dog licking your face

The task of the day:

Packing and Boxing

Shawn's down in Austin for the weekend, visiting friends and family. I'm in charge of operating The Dog for the weekend. Milla's being very blue. I think she's missing both Marla and Shawn now. But she's also being fairly well behaved. Slept in my bed last night, and I was awoken several times as she got up to patrol the house.

It is getting cold here. Last night it hit 35 degrees, and the leaves are finally starting to pick up color. I suspect that by the end of the week, they should be in full fall foliage. Carol's never seen this, so I hope that we get some decent views on the way back to California.

* * *

Yesterday we finished off three deserts for the buffet. They turned out okay, but not spectacular. They certainly could have done with a bit more "gussying up" in some respects. But, they were ment to be simple, and that they were.

The Caracas Cake was the first, which consisted of a basic sponge cake made with almond brittle and cake crumbs. A two inch strip is cut from the cake, and then a triangular shaped wedge removed from the top. This is then filled with whipped soft ganache, and the triangular piece inverted and placed on top. The entire cake is then sealed with more soft ganache, and then glazed with hard ganache. It's supposed to look like Mount Caracas, I guess. Looks more like a house. The big wad of chocolate mousse on the inside doesn't really look all that hot, but before you slice it, it's fairly cool looking.

We also made a roulade lined Mango, Passion Fruit, and Lemon mousse in a tunnel mold. We glazed this with a white wine glaze and sliced it. Once again, not overly fancy looking, but the flavor was really nice with the lemon. I'm not a huge sugar fan, so this one really appealed to me.

The last was poached mini pears that we hollowed out, poached in red wine, and then stuffed with a pecan/caramel mixture. The outsides of the pears was then coated in shredded filo dough and baked. We had to bake them a fairly long time in order to crisp the filo, and the caramel got overcooked as a result. Better would have been a hotter oven or convection oven. Still, this would make a very nice plated desert, I think.

* * *

Today I'm going to run around and find boxes for shipping my stuff back home. I've got twelve binders full of notes, plus all of the bad SciFi I've been reading all summer. Plus, I don't really need my toolkit for the trip back home. I figure I should be able to reduce to just two suitcases for the trip back, which will be handy, having another person in the car.

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Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy
Comments? dowdy@poubelle.com