Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eating Crème Anglaise, Fulfilling Obligations

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about a resolution I'd made for 2009. It involved a little red calendar, and a dream of organization and self-discipline. Now 2009 is nearly over; my desk is as cluttered as ever, but I'm still convinced that there's a perfect way to organize my life. If I find that method, I'll manage to read all the books I want to read, knit everything on my Ravelry queue, regain my 20 year-old figure, and accomplish all I hope to in this life.

In the meantime, I thought a calendar would be a good start.  And it started well enough.  But somewhere in April I removed the calendar from my purse.  It's on a pile somewhere in my office.  Apparently I'm not a completely lost soul, though.  Because yesterday, without the benefit of the note in my calendar, I went to Pearl Bakery for 'eggnog'.  Only today, when I read back in my blog, do I see that I had jotted a note to self for that very day: "look for Pearl eggnog".

Before I go any further, a note about Pearl's eggnog.  In my book, it's not really eggnog.  Eggnog requires fluffy beaten egg whites folded into a egg yolk rich cream and milk concoction.  There needs to be bourbon.  A little rum sprinkled on top isn't completely amiss.

Pearl's eggnog has none of these.  In order to avoid the raw egg situation, they make a cooked eggnog.  And you know what a cooked eggnog is? It's nothing more than crème anglaise.  One of my very favorite things.  This one just happens to be nutmeg-flavored. 

In Chez Panisse's early years, crème anglaise was one of the constants (almond tart was another) on the dessert menu.  A dish of it (I remember it being served in a footed metal bowl) cost less than a dollar.  On rare occasions I got to sit in the upstairs café and eat a dish of it after school. 

I've had a rough couple of days, so a glass of crème anglaise, er, eggnog, seemed well-deserved yesterday.  I ordered the smallest size (I'm not a total degenerate, after all), and settled in with my book at a table by the window.  For thirty sweet minutes I read, sipped my nutmeg scented crème anglaise, and felt much better.

I may not need a note to remember to get Pearl's eggnog in December, 2010.  But I have thought of one reminder for myself: bring a little flask of bourbon for doctoring.  After all, wouldn't a glass of eggnog be slightly less extravagant than a glass of crème anglaise?

Eggnog is available through Christmas
Pearl Bakery
102 NW 9th Ave.
Portland OR 97209
503-827-0910 (I'd call first, they sometimes run out)


emma said...

Wow your photos look good!

Giovanna said...

Thank you!

Kathleen Bauer said...

As always, a lovely essay, a bit of information (the diff between nog and creme anglaise…who knew?) and great shots (particularly loved the empty glass at the end)!

Giovanna said...

Thanks, kab--glad you liked it.

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