Sunday, January 10, 2010

Golden State Creme Brulee 'N' California Fruit

Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

After three-and-a-half years it finally happened. California, the Golden State, my native home was hit by a 6.5 Offshore Northern California. As an author-intuitive I admit that yes, I did predict this shaker and was a mere 33 miles off from Eureka--where I said it would occur. This prediction of the "Eureka Quake" was made and documented in many places, from the popular Coast to Coast radio program, Oracle 20-20 magazine, "2010 Predictions" (page 32), on my website, noting the CA 6.0 quake wager with geologist Jim Berkland. He chose SoCal, me NorCal (Offshore Eureka/Petrolia as potential epis)...
After the shaker hit, it hit me that yes, I did get an accurate forecast. Yes, there were some reports of injuries, damage, power outages, and frazzled nerves. But all in all, Californians escaped what could have been a deadly quake at such a strong magnitude.
Where does food come into play? Before and after such an event, my appetite is AWOL. Yesterday two hours before it happened (both I and my pets were dealing with pre-quake jitters as quake sensitives and seismically sensitive pets do) I purchased dark chocolate at the store. I had a huge craving for chocolate (my new, improved quake chiller instead of popcorn). When I came home and logged onto my computer, going to the USGS map my eyes saw a large red square. It happened as I had predicted.
Today, I treated myself to baking an easy, creamy semi-healthful comfort food: a Creme Brulee (without carmelizing it) topped with fresh fruit. Here's the quick recipe and if you live in California/Oregon/Nevada or on shaky ground, try it. It works like a charm to calm you, almost as good as swimming laps. That's on tomorrow's agenda.

Golden State Brulee

1 cup 2% low-fat whole evaporated milk

1 cup 2% low-fat organic milk

1/2 cup sweet condensed milk

3 large brown eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup premium maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine milk in a saucepan and heat till scalded, but do not boil. Mix eggs and sugar. Add syrup, and vanilla. Pour into two large custard dishes or four small ones. Sprinkle earthy nutmeg on top. I used more than less to give it a carmelized look and cooked the custard till it was crispy on the edges giving it a Brulee appearance. Place dish in a pan of water in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees (I live in a high altitude so it may be different, a bit lower for you) for about 45 minutes until firm. Cool. Top with fresh fruit and/or real whipped cream (without artery clogging hydrogentated fats). Makes six servings.
I put a small serving on a white plate and topped it with sliced Honeycrisp apples, cranberries (sprinkled with sugar), and oranges. The condensed milk gives this light and fresh custard a creamy edge paired with a dollop of whipped cream. Meanwhile, the dogs are sleeping, my cat is calm. The fire is toasty. The Golden State survived the earthquake. Life goes on. Now, I just have to write my article due yesterday about the myth of California falling into the Pacific Ocean. Chamomile tea is calling my name. And my Creme Brulee is a welcome comfort food after sensing this temblor and empathizing with the people who endured this ordeal in my home state. We are Californians living in Earthquake Country. We know the drill.



  2. Hey there, sorry for it took me so long to reply I didn't see all the comments I had in queue! I stopped by to see your blog, you've got some great recipes posted! I followed you by the way! :)

  3. Hi Whitney! Thanx. After the chocolate book was completed, I turned to the kitchen and got familiar with the cooking/baking (again). I lost my "anti-cooking" attitude and haven't looked back. I've got scones (glazed and different shapes) on the brain.