"No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main..."
Life has been reminding me lately how inter-tangled we are with the people around us.
Each interaction has an impact on someone else.
My bad mood can set someone else on a path to a negative day.
My good mood can foster someone else's good mood.
A kind word. A helpful action. A decision to let something go.
Additionally, we can we can choose interactions that will impact our own lives.
Almost three years ago, I bought a cookbook. And signed on to be a part of an online group to cook along with that cookbook on a whim - Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.
I had absolutely no clue what I was getting in to or the affect that it would have on me.
I expected to cook a few new recipes and maybe learn a few new skills in the kitchen. No biggie.
I would write about it and maybe someone would read what I wrote (besides my mom).
It kind of turned into something a little more than that.
Before long, this not-so-social person was making connections across the interwebs and all over the globe.
"Meeting" new people and making virtual friends.
Learning about new cultures and traditions.
Being inspired by the direction that an alternate perspective can take a recipe.
Opening myself to trying new things - some of which were a hit, some...not so much. Realizing, that its okay not to like everything or agree with everyone's point of view on a dish. There's always something to be gleaned from trying.
Before starting FFwD - I never realized that Maldon salt and Aleppo pepper would become pantry essentials. I also never realized that I would become bereft any time my refrigerator did not have a chunk of Gruyere cheese at the ready. I've also developed a deep love for all things leeky.
In just three short week, a contingent of Doristas (I can't get image of the ladies running with frying pans out of my head every time I see that term- thanks, Trevor) will be converging on Seattle and attending the 2013 International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC 2013). Now, for this island of a girl that is a bit of a daunting thought.
When I signed up for FFwD almost three years ago, I am pretty darn sure that I didn't realize it would end up with me dragging The Dude all the way to Washington (meaning the state, not the Capitol) so that I could go to a conference just so that I could have a chance to meet a contingent of fellow of FFwD bloggers (of course, the icing on the cake is the opportunity to hear the author the book that started it all give the key note address).
Of course, there are many other things that I am looking forward to about IFBC 2013- good food, amazing speakers, the chance to meet some great sponsors. But the FFwD connection is the one that sealed the deal for me.
I am both excited and nervous... If I can't utter a coherent phrase, please be kind.
Speaking of things I never imagined, this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe - floating islands - was one that I had never heard of, let alone dreamed of making prior to French Fridays.
Creme Anglaise. Meringue. Chocolate ice cream. Caramel. Hot fudge. All listed as assembly options.
The meringue base kind of scared me, but I wasn't worried about the rest of it.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that the whole chocolate thing just wasn't doing it for me. And...a carton of peaches showed up in my CSA share this week. And The Flavor Bible said that peaches and caramel have an affinity for each other. And I had a partial bottle of Vermouth sitting in the refrigerator.
Directions were followed for the creme Anglaise (heavenly) and meringue (less intimidating than imagined). The caramel recipe was mostly followed - although I did stir in some Maldon sea salt at the end (the caramel is also great on ice cream, in case you have any left over...). The Vermouth & vanilla bean poached peaches were not a part of the original plan - but were a wonderful deviation.
This dessert ended up marking a very special and rare occasion - my siblings, parents and I were all in the same room together! Now that we are all grown and somewhat scattered, it is not often that we are all together. A monumental event like that deserved to be commemorated with a special treat. Don't you think?
This post participates on French Fridays with Dorie. To see other interpretations of this dessert, check out this week's Leave Your Link. A posted version of the recipe can be found here.