Perhaps I have been stuck in this hotel room for too long and am beginning to lose my mind, or maybe this trip down memory lane was just the journey I needed to lighten my mood.
I will preface this post with a small back story. I used to work at a hotel years ago and the Executive Chef and the General Manager, both from England, were a lot of fun to work with. After working long hours and busy shifts together we all became friends. We would spend our down-time after our dinner shifts by sitting the Chef’s office drinking Port and eating Stilton on Rice Crackers. Ah, the good old days.
It was during one of these evenings that I revealed how much I liked to write poetry. They were intrigued and asked many questions about the type of poetry I wrote and the subject of my poems. I could not really pinpoint a common theme because I wrote about anything that struck me as worthy of writing about. It was then the gauntlet was thrown. Between the two of them, they would choose a subject and I would have to come up with a poem worthy of both of their praises. The challenge was on.
I arrived at work the next morning to a very official looking envelope on my desk. The content of that envelope was my writing challenge. Knowing these boys as well as I did, I opened the envelope with a bit of trepidation. Written on a piece of hotel letterhead was nothing at all what I expected to find. It was a recipe. They wanted me to write a poem from a recipe and, judging by the smug looks on their faces, they fully anticipated failure on my end.
I took the recipe home and vowed that I would emerge the victor. I wrote, rewrote and when I was satisfied with my final product I took my own piece of letterhead, printed my effort on that letterhead and put it in an envelope, leaving it on the Chef’s desk for his perusal when he returned the next day.
You’ve no doubt heard the term radio-silence. That is what work was like for the next 24 hours. The boys said nothing. I was too proud to ask what they thought and waited patiently until they finally broke the silence and handed me a full bottle of 25-year old Taylor Port. They had conceded. I had won. Here are the methods of the recipe and my poetic adaptation in italics:
(image credit: mapledelights.com)
MOUSSELINE OF MUSKOKA MAPLE SYRUP
Mix the egg yolks and sugar together and stir vigorously until it becomes white and creamy. Add the maple syrup and, in a bowl, stir over a pan of hot water, stirring constantly as you go. When the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and set aside to cool. Add the gelatine leaves while it is still warm and stir. Fully whip the cream and fold it into the cool syrup mixture. Then half whip the egg whites and fold them into the mixture. Place in the fridge for 1 hour and serve with the Lime Coulis.
Mix the yellow, let it mellow, in a bowl with sweet, Add the syrup, gelatin and water, stir over a pan of heat.
When it thickens, give it a lickin and take it off to cool, Whip the cream, and fold it in, don’t eat it yet you fool.
Take the whites to make it right and add those in as well, Put this in the fridge to cool and your mousse is done pray tell.
Combine lime juice, orange, sugar, cinnamon and water and cook for 20 mins. Run through fine chinois and add lime zest. Return to heat for five minutes and then chill. Pour over the mousseline and top with dark chocolate shavings.
Combine the stuff, although it’s rough, and simmer on the stove, Leave out the zest, as this is best, cook for 20 mins by jove.
When this is done, through fine chinois it will run, and then you add the lime, Return to heat, til 5 minutes is beat, and then you’re out of time.
Chill the sauce, this is boss, then pour over the mousseline, Top with choc, you’re ready to rock, dig in with spoon until clean.