4.28.2010

A Little Luxury

Recently I attended a day of seminars at the Boston Design Center, on the topic "redefining luxury in today's economy".  The morning began with a panel discussion and an interesting mix of opinions.  Two of the four panelists spoke endlessly of their immensely wealthy clients, and the value and necessity of $20,000 sofas.  Necessity?  Clodagh, a designer whose work I much admire and was thrilled to see in person, took an different view and defined luxury as "feeling the sun on your face, sleeping on the perfect mattress, gathering around a table large enough to accommodate your family and sharing a meal".  Meaningful stuff that resonated with many of us. 

Years ago when my mom and I visited Greece together, we experienced little luxuries on a daily basis.  As it was May and summer weather, nearly every meal was eaten outdoors.  We ate thick, creamy yogurt drizzled with local honey in courtyards shaded by bougainvillea cascading down from balconies, and sipped wine at sidewalk cafes where we watched life go by.

















While on the island of Crete, we took the bus to Chania for what should have been a day of cultural exploration of this former island capital, once occupied by Minoan, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks.  Alas, we never made it past the first "church", which turned out to be the Public Market.  Row upon row of stalls offering irresistible products - we were so loaded down with cheeses, breads, olive oils, wines and a kilo bag of coffee (what were we thinking!) that we had to forgo the rest of our visit and take an early bus back to our hotel in Heraklion.  And although said hotel's egg poacher never produced a cooked egg at breakfast during our entire stay, from our room we had a spectacular view of the sea.

Once home, I wanted to continue the slower pace of that holiday and savor every day - which is challenging at best.  So I try to be mindful and make room for little luxuries wherever and whenever possible.  Fresh flowers on the table, crisp sheets on the bed, an afternoon nap in the sun with my cat.  The company of loved ones gathered around the table, sharing a good meal, laughter, conversation.  The joy that comes from bringing happiness to others.    

Priceless. 

- Doreen



















Chocolate - Cinnamon Pudding with Raspberries 
from Real Simple

This humble pudding takes just 15 minutes to make and produces a rich, silky dessert.

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries

In a heavy saucepan, combine the cocoa, cinnamon, cornstarch and 2/3 cup of brown sugar.  Whisk in the milk and 1/2 cup of the cream.  Over medium-low heat, bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until the pudding is thick and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour into individual ramekins or a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Whip the remaining heavy cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form.  Serve the pudding warm or chilled with the raspberries and whipped cream.

Yield:  6 servings.




2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. Beautiful blogs and a beautiful dessert. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

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