Christine’s Birthday, Part 2: The Dessert

So in the midst of preparing all the things for tomorrow’s party (curing a side of salmon, beet-ricotta gnocchi, sauerkraut, etc. I also made some Stilton gnocchi with a bit of leftover tofu, figuring tonight I would use them with a sauce idea that’s been bugging me for a while. But they failed. Completely. Now normally, that would be OK; since they melted when I tried to sautée them I would have let them melt and thus become a lovely blue cheese sauce for pasta. But they WERE the pasta, and already had a sauce- on the adjacent burner- in the form of a rich bolognese I made from the extra buffalo burgers, since I bought too many, then thawed them all like an idiot. (Thus no fancy idea-sauce; that will wait until I get the gnocchi right.) The intended dinner was kind of an inverted blue cheese burger. The actual meal was store-bought fusili with the meat sauce, plus roasted kabocha, zucchini soup with smoked duck broth from the freezer, and a salad made entirely of thinnings from the garden. The Stilton gnocchi will have another chance next week after I add more activa and pipe them out again.

A failure pile in a happiness bowl.

I did, however, make the dessert. Honestly, I would have waited one more day- because I’m throughly beat, and because the idea of doing more cooking on top of all that I have done and have yet to do tomorrow made this seem crazy. So call me crazy. But I needed room in the fridge, and I had made a beet juice-blackberry coulis, and it seemed like it wasn’t going to get any better, so in the oven they went. And yet something gnawed at me… a sense of incompleteness, through the fog of fatigue and stress. Then, given the lateness of the hour, and the mountain of dirty dishes, and the many tasks left to complete before 25 people show up tomorrow, I did what any sane, stable, well-adjusted person would do in such a situation. I peeled a blood orange, cut the pith off, and candied the peel.

No, it didn’t look restaurant quality. No, I didn’t do the dishes. But yes, a big ooze of molten chocolate came out as we mauled them frantically with spoons. And yes, I was right about the blood orange peel. So I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that one should always trust one’s inner voice, especially in the kitchen.*

*Less so if your middle name is Dubya and the voices are telling you that they’re God and you should go do yourself some invadin’.

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  1. Brittany
    May 3

    The beet-blackberry coulis sounds really f’ing good….
    I have made a chocolate cake with beets in the past, and it was surprisingly good…but I’ve never paired it with fruit in desserts. Now I feel stupid.

  2. Heather
    May 3

    Hahaha @ failure pile.

    Hey, you made the high-falutin’est cheezburger mac I’ve ever seen, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Chef Boyardee can shove it!

  3. Zoomie
    May 3

    Call it “deconstructed” and no one will be any the wiser!

  4. cookiecrumb
    May 3


  5. peter
    May 4

    Brittany: It was really f’ing good. Why feel stupid? Just do it, and take the credit. Everybody wins.

    Heather: But sadly, no cheese. Does that make it more of a Rachel Ray-are-dee?

    Zoomie: Done.

    CC: Shock and aw…

  6. cook eat FRET
    May 4

    store bought fusili

    my point here peter is that IF you had the KA rollers, you could’ve cranked out pasta for 25 in ummm, never mind…

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