salted caramel flan and other events

Salted Caramel FlanI made this last week, along with some other items for Florida Dairy.

That’s Fleur De Sel on top of it. “Flower of Salt”. Sea salt, just fluffier… in extreme layman terms.

I could get really detailed about it, do you want me to? Okay…

It’s the top layer of sea salt, set aside at harvest time. It has a higher moisture content and a distinct flavor it imparts into dishes it’s sprinkled on. It’s salty yes, but it’s much more complex in it’s flavor by it’s mineral content.

Make a little sense? It makes a perfect stocking stuffer for the gourmet on your list. Yes, I’m talking stocking stuffers and Halloween hasn’t even approached. Because this year, I’m going to get ahead. (Insert my inner voice saying, “yeah, right.”) Okay… I’m going to try. Try real hard.

Now is the time to start making homemade vanilla extract, flavored liquors and jams and jellies.

My list so far:

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Cherry-Almond Jam

Homemade Spiced Rum

My usual cookies and candies…

My husband is getting harder and harder to find stuff for. Now I can see how dads always get ties and slippers. Hmmm…

Kids are easy because they never have a problem stating exactly what they want. Exactly. With unceasing detail in your ear 24/7 for weeks months before the actual birthday/holiday. Then, you reach a certain age, and you stop saying what you want. Why? I know it’s childish and rude to go and blab what you want to people, but if someone asks…  be honest within reason. Don’t ask your unemployed friend for a diamond tennis bracelet… but, if you do love her brown purse that she never uses…. how come that can’t be the perfect gift? I remember years ago, my friend had a wallet I loved. It was “the perfect wallet”. One day, she came up to me and gave it to me. (Empty, of course) and, you know what?! I still use it and love it. That was eight years ago. (Thanks, Ali! xoxox) My point is, if she wrapped it up and presented it to me for my birthday, it would have been just as awesome. And, super thoughtful.

Some of my favorite gifts have been used items:

My great grandmother’s tea kettle.

My mother’s “Joy of Cooking” cookbook.

My best friend’s (from grade school) pencil pouch.

A  yellow mug from a co-worker.

All of the above items were lovingly used.

Bottom line is, even if you’re flat broke this season: pay attention to the little things people say… a used brown purse with a little box of chocolates tucked inside can be the most memorable and loved gift for your best friend.

How on earth did I get on that topic? I’m supposed to be talking about flan and salt.

Jeez.

Another thing, since I am on a rant anyway… and who really READS this site?! ( My own family doesn’t ~ excaot maybe Katrina and Vanessa – {HUGS!}

For most of society…I’m sure it’s just a search for the pretty picture and maybe they may make the recipe if it gets past the Pinterest pit.( Another love/hate with Pinterest. ) I want y’all to MAKE the recipes, enjoy them, share them with humans, not computer buttons. I’m not here for the popularity. I’m here to make you and your family enjoy the little things in life.

So, with that thought… I am thinking of going back to school.

Literally. For the he** of it.  But not math school (AKA the last two classes I need for my degree.). Culinary school. I breezed the topic over with my husband as myself and the admissions person were texting. Yep, they don’t cold call you in the middle of the grocery store when you sign up for “more information”- they text. Brilliant, I say. Because… if they happen to get too pushy, you can always just not text back. So much easier than hanging up in a recruiter college admission professional’s face. You know what I’m sayin’….

Then, at two am (2:24, precisely) Reality set in.

Do I really want a loan? Do I really want some French guy telling me I’m not tempering my eggs properly?

I also have no intention of doing a thing with the diploma. It would only be for expertise and bragging rights to be honest. I’m not working till 2 am in a restaurant or waking up at 2 am to “make the doughnuts”.

But… the crazy thing is…. despite my justification of  I’m nots’…. I still have the drive for “why not?”

Oh yes… the Cockatoo we adopted that can’t be off his schedule.  Crap. No school time for me.

Unless I hire a bird sitter… hmmm. Maybe I could just be a bird sitter.

No. I kinda want to show the French guy I do know how to temper eggs, and melt chocolate properly, and make Choux   pastry…

I kinda want to do this thing.  I will keep you posted. (if you read this far) I have an appointment to tour the facility… on a Wednesday… same day I’m supposed to meet my BFF for lunch.

I’m thinking… she’s going to be the better bet.

Because best friends are ALWAYS better than grumpy French men in chef coats.

Just sayin’.

Anyway….

My flan:

untitled (101 of 126)The recipe is found here:

Salted Caramel Flan

Go visit them, give em’ some love on their recipes…. 🙂

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