Sunday, May 11, 2008

La Petite Mort

La Petite Mort – The exact French translation means “the small death”. According to Wikipedea, the French term is a reference to sexual orgasm and has generally been interpreted to describe the post-orgasmic fainting spells or unconsciousness some lovers experience. The entry concludes that studies using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) give some support to the experience of a small death: “to some degree, the present results seem to be in accordance with this notion, because female orgasm is associated with decreased blood flow in the orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is crucial for behavioral control.”

This is what happens to me every time another box of kitchen equipment arrives for the galley (about 3 times a day!). This isn’t to say that I have an orgasm every time I see a box labeled Cuisinart or Kitchen-Aid. But rather, my “small death” is more akin to cardiac arrest due to decreased blood flow to the heart associated with the fact that I have NO CLUE where I am going to put everything!

Nothing is in the yacht just yet, of course. Our “install” date is July 7. That’s when the installation of the furniture, artwork, etc. begins – and when I’ll be able to bring my equipment aboard and actually start organizing the galley. In the meantime, I need to test all my new equipment back at the crew house. But even the shelves I’ve set up there are beginning to sag from their load!

With Mrs. X so passionate about food, and Mr. X really wanting to make the crew happy (“whatever keeps Cookie sweet” is, apparently, the going motto for me), I’ve pretty much been met with zero resistance when it comes to purchasing lots of really cool, fun and spendy kitchen gadgets and appliances.

So, I’m probably one of the few people in the world that considers appliances “fun” but the VitaMix Vita-Prep, the Ferrari of kitchen blenders, is just that. Its high-octane, 357 horsepower engine makes silky-smooth, creamy purees out of almost any fruit or vegetable. The variable speed dial, with 10 different speeds, makes whipping up large batches vinaigrettes, smoothies and even hot soups a breeze because you don’t have to worry about things splattering or burning out the engine. The Breville Indoor BBQ/Grill/Panini Press, with 1500 watts of power and massive grill space, allows me to make 6 grilled cheese sandwiches at one time - a definite necessity! And, the 20-cup Cuisinart food processor and the Kitchen-Aid mixer with the pasta roller/cutter and food grinder attachments should keep me entertained for a little while. While the professional meat slicer will make quick work of the leg of proscutto that I’ll be hanging in the walk-in when we head down to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, because Heaven knows I won’t be able to find a good proscutto down there! However, the real crowning jewel is the PacoJet ice-cream maker. At $3,500.00 it is on the pricey side – but compared to $35,000,000.00 price tag (I’m estimating here) of, say a GulfStream or LearJet – the PacoJet is a relative bargain. And, you can create an infinite array of “spun-to-order”, creamy, light sorbets and ice cream. Can a LearJet do that? I don’t think so.

Now this is what I call "manual" stimulation:

Hey, there's nothing to be ashamed of for using mechanical aids, sometimes a girl needs a little extra help!

Our captain LOVES making Belgian Waffles for the crew on our new All-Clad Belgain Waffle Maker!

After sampling several recipes, we decided the Yeasted Waffles recipe from CooksIllustrated is the very best. So, that's where this recipe is stolen from (thanks CooksIllustrated!).

Yeasted Waffles
Prep time: Make batter 12 to 24 hours in advance.

*Best served with maple syrup or Lyle's golden syrup, fresh whipped cream, berries and canned peaches!

Seven 7-inch round or four 9-inch square waffles

1 3/4 cups whole milk , or low-fat milk, or skim milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 8 pieces
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool milk/butter mixture until warm to touch. Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl to combine. Gradually whisk warm milk/butter mixture into flour mixture; continue to whisk until batter is smooth. In small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla until combined, then add egg mixture to batter and whisk until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 24 hours.

2. Following manufacturer’s instructions, heat waffle iron; remove waffle batter from refrigerator when waffle iron is hot (batter will be foamy and doubled in size). Whisk batter to recombine (batter will deflate). Bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (use about 1⁄2 cup for 7-inch round iron and about 1 cup for 9-inch square iron). Serve waffles immediately or hold in low temperature oven (see above note).


Zora said...

Hilarious post! And I concur--those yeasted waffles are the freakin' best. Probably even better with some PacoJetted ice-cream topping!

prcrstn8 said...

OMG you're in hog heaven, or ... cookie heaven. Or something. Heh.

Go girl.

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