It’s a little late in the night, I know. I’m here sipping on the last of my fizzy violet cocktail. Not so fizzy anymore. We hosted my family yesterday for my mom’s birthday, with a good deal of violets and some foraged field garlic. Dinner consisted of roast lamb stuffed with Swiss chard and Merguez sausage, smashed potatoes with field garlic and maple glazed carrots. And that cake with violet jam? Delicious! Don’t worry, photos and recipes coming soon. We’re not very good at stocking a bar. Sure, we have plenty of booze, but not too good with the mixers part. Instead we often have a signature cocktail, if you will, ready for guests to start the evening along with plenty of local wine and beer. I made fizzy violet cocktails by the pitcher, and always forgetting how large the pitcher really is (it looks average size but fits about 1.5 liters), had to manage with some leftover cocktails tonight. A bit flat by now, but still quite tasty. But that’s neither here or there. You’re here to figure out what else you can do with those beautiful violets you spent all weekend foraging for. You did really forage, didn’t you…?
If I had the choice of choosing my final meal before going to that big kitchen in the sky (god I hope it’s bigger than a Brooklyn kitchen or God has one twisted sense of humor) I think it would end with Creme Brulee. Easily my favorite dessert, yet one that I don’t have too often. I’ve had my overwhelming share of bad creme brulees–burned, too dense, strange texture. One time the chef didn’t even bother to brulee it! To me it looked (and tasted) like a dense custard with way too much granulated sugar, but to them it was creme brulee. I won’t point any fingers at the guilty party, but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly a diner.
Ever make something because you had a craving for an ingredient? Of course you have. But I’m not talking something simple like an apple craving, I’m talking about an ingredient that needs to be made to use in another recipe. I’m probably not making much sense here. Salted Caramel. I’m addicted to the stuff. But you can’t just make it and eat it out of the jar with a spoon. At least not when my husband’s home–we’re still newly married enough that I pretend to be above those glutenous habits. So if you want caramel, you need to make it to go with something. Ice cream, cupcakes, fruit crisp. It really doesn’t matter. I’m hosting a dinner party next weekend and while I had no idea at first what I wanted to serve for dinner, I knew salted caramel was part of dessert.