Day 27 – National Pots de Creme Day

Surprisingly, I knew about this.  We’ve had them before on some of our adventures.  For those who don’t know, Pots de Creme are essentially little servings of a type of custard.  My extensive research on Wikipedia tells me that they are actually “a loose French dessert custard dating to the 17th century. The name means “pot of custard” or “pot of creme”, which also refers to the porcelain cups in which the dessert is served.”  Now we all know.

The first time we saw them was on our trip to England when we were visiting my sister who was living there.  Lola and I took an extended trip to visit her and to do some exploring.  We had booked the trip because we had secured some tickets to see the one and only Michael Jackson in concert, however Mr. Jackson failed to live up to his part of the agreement and so we were left without a concert to see.  However, it was still an opportunity to explore a foreign country and to take a trip that we both needed.  Thanks MB and Doug for hosting us!

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Lola grieving for MJ in London.

We didn’t have any grand plans while we were there, so we would just wake up, take a train into to London proper and explore.  We immersed ourselves daily in history, museums, culture and food.  The food was a big surprise for us as we had heard such bad things about English food, but there was so many new tastes to try all over the city, it became a bit of a Foodie trip.  That’s where we first saw Pots de Creme which made an appearance on menus throughout the city (right next to the treacle tarts).  They were also available in the markets and quick serve places as an easy grab and go item.  How could you resist?  Little pots of chocolate (other flavors too, but chocolate always looked the best) just waiting to be picked up and enjoyed.  Enjoy we did.

A few years later, the summer after Lola’s Mom had passed away, we were invited to see a baseball game in Pittsburgh (thanks Charlie!).  Because we were once again in need of a break, we decided to turn the trip into a vacation.  So after the drive West to Pittsburgh and a fabulous game, we made a pit stop on our way home in the Poconos of New York (home of the beautiful Mount Airy Lodge for anyone that ever watched New York’s Channel 11 in the 80’s).  We found a place called the Lodge at Woodloch which billed itself as a destination spa resort (something we needed).  It was a beautiful spot and offered massages, treatments, activities – everything you would want to relax.

The food there was good too but because it was a spa, the meals were designed more for healthy eating.  Nothing wrong with that, it just wasn’t what we expected/wanted.  So while it was tasty, at the end of the meal you would always be a little hungry.  That’s when they would roll out the dessert and to our delight, Pots de Creme were usually an option.  They would be the perfect sweet finish to the meal.  Lola and I started really looking forward to them – kind of like two kids hoarding pudding cups in the school cafeteria.  Sometimes we’d sneak an extra one during lunch when they weren’t looking.  They were that good and I would say the bright spot of the dining experience all week.

That’s why we like Pots de Creme and I was excited to see that they now have their own day of celebration.  I found a recipe on Food Network which looked pretty easy. There are only a few ingredients: egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar and chocolate.   It took about ten minutes to make and then I just put them in the fridge to set.  There is a moment where you have to pour the heated ingredients over chocolate in a blender and then blend together and I am always a little hesitant about putting any hot items in a blender.  There was an incident a few years back involving my arm, some carrots and squash soup, a big mess and some nasty burns, so I am always extra careful when attempting this.  However, no problems this time and all looked good when it was finished.  I poured them into some ramekins and some short glasses (I only have four ramekins) and then waited for them to set.

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When it was time to enjoy them, I threw together some whipped cream (I’m getting really good at making whipped cream) and then took the Pots de Creme out of the fridge plopping a dollop of whipped cream on top.  They were really good.  This could have been one of my favorites.  I waited for Lola’s reaction and she was equally delighted.  It surprised us both.  When you take your first bite, you think you are just eating an easy pudding or similar, but then the taste melts in your mouth and suddenly there’s a party.  The texture is something too – light, almost crumbly, but not.  Big thumbs up for this one.  What a great day for Pots de Creme!  Let’s bring these into regular rotation around here!

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Next up: Cherry Turnover Day (Are there any Arby’s around here?)

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