Sealed With A Kiss

My kids’ n’ I finally got within hugging distance last week. I’ve traveled to see each of them (separately) and they’ve seen each other in between, but this was the first time we’d been together in three years!

These photos were snapped outside Four Daughters Winery. The food and wine were fantastic, as always! I ordered three dishes to share: Baked Brie & Garlic with Pecan Pesto & Seasonal Berries on Grilled Focaccia; Smoked Chicken Flatbread with Shitake Mushrooms, Roasted Tomatoes, & Freshly Grated Mozzarella; and Crab Rangoon Flatbread. Oh, and Smoked Brisket Tacos with blue corn tortillas for me. :)

Do I look a lil’ bit happy?

Enjoying Proud Mama moments,

~ Kim

Custard’s Last Stand

Custard's Last Stand

Custard is one of the simple joys in life.  A few basic ingredients and a bit of stove-top tending are all that’s required.

By the way, I generally don’t snap fridge photos because:  1)  the lighting isn’t the greatest and 2) it gets a lil’ crowded in there. :)

But, what’s a girl to do with a camera in one hand and a spoon in the other?

I also tend to favor the bain marie method “ala oven” because it never fails; however, my new double boiler was begging to be used.

Custard in progress

Plus, it employs some of my favorite cooking utensils…

Some of my favorite utensils

Grandma M’s measuring cups and spoon.  A microplane from my sister.  An apron made out of fabric that once belonged to my Grandma (sewn by my sister.)  Ramekins from Mom.  Memories of eating custard with Grandma S…

Some may beg to differ re: memories being a ‘utensil,’ but in my kitchen they’re an essential tool.

I love being surrounded by the women in my family while I cook.

Homemade Custard

Recipe credit goes to Christopher Kimball & “The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook” (another gift from my sister); method adapted by me.

2 c. whole milk

1 c. heavy cream

2 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

1/2 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Freshly grated nutmeg

Butter 8 individual ramekins or a 2 quart baking dish; set aside.

Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler; reduce heat to a simmer.  Keep water at a simmer from here on out and make sure the water level in the bottom pan doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan.  (I hope that made sense.)

Add milk and cream to the top of the double boiler; heat over simmering water until bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and eggs in a bowl.  Stir in sugar, salt, and vanilla.

Whisk egg mixture into hot milk/cream until combined.

Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until custard coats the back of the spoon.  This process requires standing in front of your stove for approximately 20 to 25 minutes and I cannot emphasize the two “s’s” enough — simmer and stir — or you’ll end up with a third “s”… scrambled eggs.

Pour custard into individual ramekins or a 2 quart dish.

Grate nutmeg over the top.

Refrigerate and wait patiently until set.

Alternatively, stir together the hot milk/cream and egg mixture.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into buttered ramekins or baking dish and place them in a bain marie (i.e. larger baking dish filled with boiling water half-way up the custard dishes.)

Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes (ramekins) or 40 to 50 minutes (baking dish) until custard is set.  Cool, then refrigerate.

Custard 1

Although I’ll probably revert to the reliable oven-baked method for future custard-making adventures, it felt rather nostalgic doing it the ol’ fashioned way again.

Custard’s Last Stand, so to speak…

Who’s in your kitchen with you while you cook?

Enjoying memories and simple joys,

~ Kimby