Brain Dump (French Fridays with Dorie: Cheesy Creme Brulee)

Cheesy creme brulee's suggest elegance.

This past week, elegance has eluded me..

Like having my post-respiratory-issue-still-congested self stuck on a three hour "Disney" flight (i.e. a flight from home into the Orlando airport teeming with bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, very vocal and excessively energetic youth on their way to spend a week at Disney). That, left me feeling very inelegant.

Or the following 2.5 hour flight from Orlando to Houston on an oversold flight - it was a boarding nightmare. Not elegant at all.

Or the subsequent late-night hour plus drive to my final destination. In the dark. On deserted roads. With a GPS that was refusing to connect to a satellite. If I didn't know where I was going, I am sure a period of panic would have set in. That. Would not have been elegant.

There is something about travelling that alters perceptions of the world at large. It's like the world in front of me is one big window and I get to peek in and watch - like TV, but usually more amusing.

So, here is this week's travel observation brain dump:
  • It is not uncommon that the behavior of travelling children mirrors the behavior of their parents. Positively or negatively.
  • The rodeo is a REALLY HUGE DEAL in Houston.
  • Apparently, being 1700 miles away from your family does not relieve you of your obligation to figure out what they are having for dinner. True story.
  • There are air passengers who think it is okay to turn on their cell phones and text in-flight (and no, it was not a flight with wi-fi connection). I briefly considered tackling said passenger and ripping the battery from her phone, but really didn't feel like making the evening news. Awkward.
  • Apparently, it is not my accent that gives me away as being "from Up North", but my clothing.
  • There are men who don't mind being called "Peanut", "Bubba" or "Bear" in lieu of their given names.
  • I don't mind being called "ma'am" and having the door opened for me. I have come to expect it when I am travelling in Texas. I know better than to expect it when I am back home.
  • There is no good coffee to be found in Brazoria county, TX. I have been there enough times to stand by this statement - it also has been validated by lifelong residents.
  • The Kolache Shop in Clute, TX makes the best kolaches. Period. I could eat these by the bucket load. Preferably, filled with sausage.
  • People are very willing to tell complete strangers almost anything about themselves. TMI???
  • Having 47 members of a high school dance team on your flight is not as loud of an endeavor as one would think - that had to be the least giggly and best mannered horde of teen-aged girls I have ever met (as someone who has mothered two girls through teen-hood, I feel well-qualified to say that).
  • When you are dining alone, you tend to get much more efficient service. I am not sure if they feel sorry for you and try to speed things up, or they are worried that your tip isn't going to be as much so they are trying to turn the table more quickly.
  • "Please" and "thank you" go a long way toward getting people to help you.
  • When your flight is scheduled to go through an airport that is pretty much closed down due to a major winter snow event, it is really helpful to have a skilled Corporate travel agent on your side.
  • Home. Is. Good.
You know what else is good?

Cheesy brulees...

What could be so wrong about a cheesy custard that has been gently baked until it has reached a perfectly, silky smooth texture and then given a broil treatment to form a crunchy upper shell that you get to crack with your spoon?

I think if travellers could pack these in their suitcase - at least one per travel day - the airports of this country would be much happier places.

Seriously. How can any one stay miserable when eating cheese? (Unless you are dairy intolerant, of course)

Re: the construction end of these - I used a combination of cheddar and Romano cheeses. Inexplicably, I had no Gruyere hiding in the cheese bin. Since starting FFwD, I can not recall a single stretch of time where I did not have Gruyere in the refrigerator. It has become my "go to" cheese. Surely, the Universe must have changed rotation or something.

Other than that, I followed directions - well, except for my ramekin size (extended baking time and turned the heat up to 250F for the last 15 or so minutes to get it to set).

The final judgment? These were good. Very, very good. Even The Dude ate his. (I was shocked too.)

Yep. More cheese = happier world.

Peace out.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Hope you enjoyed your trip, and glad that you're home, safe and sound. I hope that when your family asked what they were having for dinner, you told them to order a pizza. ha! Ah, texas. When i lived in corpus, my Garmin could NEVER find a signal. Not a cloud in the sky, but it just wouldn't connect. Very irritating.

  2. You always manage to make me laugh early in the morning! I wish I had made the creme brulees, they look so posh. They look gorgeous Cher, have a wonderful weekend!

  3. That looks so good and comforting!

  4. This is your BEST Post ever. 1. Air travel, in a word, sucks. So darn pleased that the TSA has decided to allow knives and bats back on board. 2. On the other hand, I travel mostly by car in the USA - been in plane crash, hate to fly. When your Garmin's on the blink and it's daaark, just scary. Avoid that in the future. 3. Social Media has "opened up" Americans' idea of "sharing" information. Even I cannot believe the things I share with others on my Blog. 4. Eating alone has its rewards, no longer a No. No. I tip 20%......always. 5. There are 3 Presidential Libraries in Texas so I definitely will be flying there in the next twelve months. I am taking YOU with me as my personal consultant on all things Texan. I will call your Corporate Travel Agent and set it up. 6. I left you a reply on my Post to your comment regarding FDR and Seattle. 40th Birthday Bash being planned by Susan and me - be there!

  5. We loved it too! And I also had to readjust the oven temperature a bit. :)

  6. I love your flight observations. Bus riders in the sky these days. On my last flight, the person behind me took off her shoes and placed her foot on my arm rest. Her travel mate took off his shoes and walked barefoot around the plane. This creme brulee looks great!

  7. There was a time when it was a pleasure to travel by air... so long ago. So sorry you had such a nightmare. Glad you have your two feet on the ground and a spoon full of brûlée in your mouth.

  8. Cher, I used to travel by plane so much amd have not done so in such a long time and after reading your post, I cannot say that I miss it that much either...your post really put a smile on my face! And your Cheesy Crème Brûlée looks wonderful and creamy and delicious - I also keep that Gruyère in my fridge, I love to bake and cook with that wonderful cheese. The polka dot rectangular ramekins look really cute too!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. I'm on the fence about this one. I love using my kitchen blow torch, but on cheesey creme brulee? Hmm...btw, love your observations about Texas. Pretty funny!

  10. Texas is a strange place. I'm not sure if I'll ever get used to living here. And you're right - how could anyone (not lactose-intolerant) be unhappy while eating these little cheesy wonders? I think this is going to become go-to comfort food to me. Mmm.

  11. Aaaagghhh! The joys of travelling. I learned today what a kolache was, something I have been hitherto unacquanited with. Glad you liked the brulee. To me, they tasted fine, but meh.

  12. Your Cheesy Creme Brulee looks delicious. This was a favorite at my house. We love cheese. Hope you have a nice weekend:)

  13. Sounds like an interesting trip.....Yukon, Ok makes pretty good kolaches too if you ever get there. Glad you were able to figure out dinner for your family while you were gone:)

  14. Dang! I completely forgot about these. I want to make them cause I love cheese!!! Yours look really good. Quite Elegant!!!!

  15. What a trip. I certainly do not miss business travel. Loved your observations. And, yes, cheese makes the world a more perfect place. This one was delicious! Have a great weekend! (We got a surprise foot of snow today. Ugh!

  16. Mmmm cheesy creme brûlée? What a wonderful idea :D


  17. "Apparently, being 1700 miles away from your family does not relieve you of your obligation to figure out what they are having for dinner" This made me laugh out loud:-)

    As for you business travel adventures, all I can say is, I hear ya! And I've noticed the same thing about eating alone.

  18. Great post, Cher! I'm ashamed to say I didn't have time to make these this week when you traveled & made them!

    I can't wait to meet you!

  19. Very funny post, Cher!! I am not fond of air travel…although I do fly if the place I’m going to is worth the stress! And just a bit of info….my husband is a retired Air Traffic Controller/Administrator!
    Your Cheesy Brulee looks wonderful…so glad they were well received!
    Hope you feeling better now that you are home! Enjoy your weekend!

  20. I agree that travelling with these would make for a much happier experience, but I'm not so sure security would be happy with the mini-torch...of course, you could offer to share - yours look so cute in those dishes.

    I loved your list,but especially no. 3. It reminded me of a time when I'd been travelling in Mexico for months and was checking my email in Mexico City. One of the emails was from a friend back home who wanted advice on where she should go out for the evening on the coming Friday.

  21. Oh, boy, you're not making me very excited about my next flight...LOL. So glad both you the Dude enjoyed!

    PS...we call my dad The Dude, too :)

  22. Fun post Cher- there is no place like home when engaging in overly crowded crazy air travel, yuck!!!
    I'm glad you enjoyed the cheesy brûlées ;-)

  23. Yours look really good! It almost makes me want to try making these again...Texting in the air is unbelievable! Seriously disturbing.

  24. Sounds like a long trip! Glad you had these cheesy treats to think about!

  25. Ugh travelling for that long can really get to anyone my friend!
    You deserved this cheesiness :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  26. The last trip I took was to Missouri, landing in a teeny airport in the middle of nowhere, at night, with the destination about 45 minutes away. The GPS sent me down a dead-end road, and when I turned around, it got confused and started directing me the long way around to my destination. I eventually realized I was going the wrong way and got me and the dang GPS reset, but, that was one lousy intro to Missouri (later, in the hotel, I pulled out a map and learned the GPS was trying to send me on a *2-hour* detour). The flight back home included two connections, plus a layover in Chicago, which stretched into a 7 hour layover, thanks to snow in NY. This homebody is happy to leave all the traveling to others. ;)

  27. Your travel summary reminds me of why I am not a traveler, or barely a traveler. One, I hate to fly. Two, most of the experiences you noted.
    Glad the brulee soothed your spirit!

  28. This southern girl wants to know what kind of clothing distinguishes one as being from up north? Only thing I can think of is long underwear?


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