I received a text from Katie. She is an original server at the brewhouse just like me and Holly and Janice. She took a little break from the service industry to create a human being and push it out of her body. The text was to celebrate the small human with a baptism and party. “We don’t need you to bring anything, we are cooking but you can bring dessert.” And I raced to my cookbooks.
Cooking for me is an addictive disorder borderlining on disease. It’s something I shouldn’t do, but just can’t stop myself. Money is tight at this time and I am committed to an exercise regimen which means I can’t afford to cook and I can’t afford to eat what I cook. But it taunts me. Especially desserts. The irony is, I don’t care for sweets all that much. I would take mashed potatoes over a brownie in a heartbeat. However, the photographers of my food magazines capture such gorgeous pictures of cakes and galettes and caramel dripping chocolate gooeyness, I want to duplicate the loveliness in my own kitchen. Because I don’t crave sweets, I’m able to abstain. Unless I have a good reason not to.
A party for a tiny human is a good reason not to. I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to read first. December Bon Appetit 2006, the White Chocolate Spiced Pear Tiramisu Trifle.
I recalled the recipe when the brewhouse was on pear overload
thanks to Janice. The picture of it was so stunning, Bon Apetit chose it for their cover. It showed a creamy tower of delicate ladyfingers nestled in between liqueur soaked pears with big beautiful dollops of pillowy whipped cream and white chocolate curls. It was white, pure, etheral and glistening with sugary goodness. “The perfect dessert,” I thought, until I saw the list of ingredients: pear brandy, cardamom pods, vanilla bean, soft lady fingers, ingredients I did not have in my pantry at the time. Off the top of my head, I calculated this one dessert would set me back about $75.
And then the disorder kicked in. “Come on it won’t be so bad.” Pear brandy can’t be that expensive and it’s not like you are going to eat it all yourself. What’s one little slice of cream and mascarpone and chocolate curls and more cream.
I did a little research and learned the pear brandy I wanted to use was $49. Not that it would go to waste. I have a bottle of Calvados from 2003 that I still use to make my favorite Apple Galette Gourmet January 2003.
I asked Holly for her thoughts. She agreed with my disorder simply because I think she suffers from it as well. She said “Go for it” and she would split the cost of cardamom and vanilla with me because she wants those items for her pantry too. I worked my lunch shift trying not to think about it. I was afraid I would talk myself out of it.
After my shift, I walked to my car and thought, “Just shop and deal with the credit card bill later”. I had been doing so well paying it down, I deserved a tiny bump on it.
I started my car and an indicator light I hadn’t seen before on my car dash, lit up and it stopped me cold. I never made it to the liquor store or the grocery store. I drove home instead and thought about what other less expensive alternatives lay waiting for me in between the pages of my cookbook collection.