Friday, May 31, 2013

Walt Whitman

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.
by Walt Whitman
This picture was not taken at sunrise but just before sunset.  Each day as I drove by this yard the colors of the trees and lilacs seemed to be an explosion of vibrant colors. Of course I kept saying to myself I just have to get a picture. You should know that this street is quite busy from all directions with cars. I knew I had to plot out my photo time carefully. So well into the  early evening I  parked my car on a side street and dashed across the street risking life and limb no less :) had a lucky break with no cars and got my picture. Totally worth the drive over there but so often the lens of a camera can't fully capture the real beauty.
The following recipes are just the perfect sweet treat to celebrate a literary icon such as Walt Whitman. 

Whitman was born May 31,1819 in Brooklyn, New York.   At the age of 12 he began to learn the printer's trade and along the way fell in love with the written word. He worked as a teacher, printer, and during the Civil War, a volunteer in a military hospital. 
He published the first edition of Leaves of Grass, a volume of 12 untitled poems when he was 36. But his work went through various editions as he spent his entire life rewriting and ending with the deathbed edition. This volume contained more than 300 poems. It was published in 1892. Leaves of Grass is considered one of the world's most famous literary works.
Now Lift Me Close
by Walt Whitman
Now lift me close to your face till I whisper,
What you are holding is in reality no book, nor part of a book;
It is a man, flushe'd and full blooded-it is I-So long-
We must separate awhile-Here! take from my lips this kiss;
Whoever you are, I give it especially to you;
So long!-And I hope we shall meet again!  

Lemon Phyllo Cups
1 package (15 count) mini phyllo shells (I used Athens pre-made shells-freezer section) 
1 small jar lemon curd  
1 small jar raspberry preserves  
2 c. almond whipped cream (recipe below)  
sliced almonds (optional)
Fill each phyllo shell with 1 tsp. lemon curd, 1/2 tsp. raspberry preserves, 1 Tbsp. almond whipped cream, and 1 raspberry. Garnish with 1-2 sliced almonds (optional). Makes 15 tarts.*Recipe can easily be doubled – just purchase 2 boxes of the pre-made shells!
Almond Whipped Cream   
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar 
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
1/2 tsp. almond extract 
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Makes 2 cups. 

Chocolate Mousse in Phyllo Cups
5 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar +3 TB. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (no higher than 60 % cacao)
1 cup half and half
1/8 tsp. creme tartar
3/4 pint of whipping cream (whipped)
3 TB. Amaretto or Cointreau
  • Thaw out phyllo cups-only needs 10 minutes
  • Separate whites from yolks and place yolks in a small pan
  • Add to yolks 1/2 cup sugar, salt and whisk till smooth
  • Place pan over larger pan with simmering water and cook about 8 minutes till thick-remove from heat several times whisking to keep mixture smooth
  • Add in 1 cup half and half to yolk mixture  and cook a few minutes longer
  • Remove from heat and add in broken pieces of chocolate and add pan back to simmering water and blend till smooth and thick
  • Stir in liqueur and cool in a bowl
  • Beat egg whites with creme of tartar and add in 2 TB. sugar
  • In another bowl beat 3/4 of the pint of whipping cream  
  • Blend egg whites and whipped cream lightly with a spatula
  • Pour in cooled chocolate and lightly blend chocolate, egg whites and whip cream till no whites appear 
  • Fill each phyllo cup with 1 TB. chocolate mousse and top with a raspberry serve immediately since phyllo cups can get soggy if filled too far in advance 
Cook's note: Mousse can be made early in day-place in a bowl and refrigerate till serving 
Bon Appetit!

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