Picture courtesy of SugarHero. The pot de crème recipe I used can be found here.
My friend Liz has the most perfect anecdote that describes her wonderful father in a few words. She was once sitting in front of her laptop after a very bad day, barely typing, worrying about life in general. Her father had been sitting in the next room. He didn’t say anything to her; for all she knew, he didn’t realize she was upset.
After a few moments, she felt her father’s comforting presence behind her shoulder. He didn’t say a word, but he reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of candy corn, which he then placed on the keys of her laptop. He kissed her on the head and went back on his way. In that moment, Liz felt the love and comfort of her father, exmplefied in a handful of Halloween candy. I think that image is incredibly beautiful, and it made me begin thinking about the gift of food.
I’ve spent a lot of time this summer making more elaborate desserts and breakfast than I would have dreamed of. Being health-conscious, I usually didn’t eat more than a few bites or a little piece of the sugary delights I made (most of the time. Sometimes, you just gotta indulge). So why did I go on making them?
Probably because of the look on someone’s face when you hand them a package of homemade sugar cookies. Or my mom’s smile of delight and her compliments when I handed her a slice of beautiful flourless chocolate torte, dappled with homemade whipped crème and beautiful crimson raspberries. All of these things remind me why we go to the trouble of cooking: to come together. To reignite the feelings of community that are totally missed when you funnel down McDonalds or Lean Cuisines in front of a TV by yourself. Cooking intricate meals means that you took the time to think about what those your sharing it with will like. For me, that meant adding heavy cream when I would have preferred Greek yogurt, or using ground beef when ground turkey is much more my speed.
Giving the gift of food is becoming one of my “love languages,” I think. When pondering about what I’d like to give my Little (sorority little sister), I immediately began thinking about Reeses desserts, before I thought about anything else. Nothing shows caring to me more than remembering what someone likes to eat and taking the time to make something special.
With this in mind, I am currently chilling chocolate pot de crèmes in the fridge, which I will top with fresh homemade whipped cream, in honor of my parent’s anniversary. Mom is in love with anything chocolatey, and my stepdad always gets a little sad whenever whipped cream isn’t incorporated somewhere in the dessert. I’ll probably just chillax with some strawberries and maybe a bite or two of the cream, but seeing the happiness on their faces makes the little bit of extra time in the kitchen a million times worthwhile.
Here are some of my favorite food gift ideas:
Lemon shortbread in a pretty little jar. This recipe is to die for!
Mickey Mouse French Macaroons…these will be gifted to my brother. As soon as I can possibly figure out how to make macaroons…hm.
Truffle hot chocolate balls. I’m getting excited for Christmas super early, I suppose, but these look good anytime of the year!