Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pink & Red, Valentine's Colors

St. Valentine's Day is the 14th of February as we all know. Commercial interests promote the sending of cards, the buying of flowers and chocolates. To be a bit more colorful this year, and healthier as well, I am including the scrumptious dessert following the poem to commemorate this lovely holiday. Have a sweet day, and know you are loved.

What Is Red?
Red is a sunset
blazy and bright.
Red is feeling brave
with all your might.
Red is a sunburn
spot on your nose,
sometimes red
is a red, red rose.
Red squiggles out
when you cut your hand.
Red is a brick and
a rubber band.
Red is a hotness
you get inside
when you're embarrassed
and want to hide.
Fire cracker, fire-engine
fire-flicker red...
and when you're angry
red runs through your head.
Red is an Indian
a Valentine heart and
the trimming on
a circus cart.
Red is a lipstick,
red is a shout,
red is a signal
that says: "Watch out!"
Red is a great big
rubber ball.
Red is the giant-est
color of all.
Red is a show-off
no doubt about it...
But can you imagine
living without it?
from Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill

Summer Pudding
Chef John Williams created this dessert at Claridge's in London. The patrons loved it so much they would ask for it all year long. Unfortunately the beginning of England's berry season doesn't start until June. Here in the states we may be able to purchase delicious summer berries year round, in the freezer section of our grocery stores if not fresh, but it is always well worth it.          
Summer PuddingCredit: Beatriz Da Costa
1 1/4 cups sugar
Juice and peel of 1 lemon
1 lb. strawberries, washed and hulled
(if large, cut in half lengthwise)
1/2 lb. blackberries, washed
1/2 lb. blueberries, washed
3/4 lb. raspberries
15–20 very thin slices white bread
(such as Pepperidge Farm), crusts trimmed
2 cups freshly whipped cream

1. Cook sugar, lemon juice, peel, and 2 1/4 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add strawberries, and poach for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer strawberries to a bowl. Poach blackberries in the same syrup for 30 seconds, then add to strawberries. Repeat with blueberries, then with half the raspberries. Add remaining raspberries to syrup and cook, mashing with spoon, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Discard peel. Cool syrup.
3. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat a deep 1-quart bowl with syrup. Cut 1 slice of bread to fit the bottom, dip it into syrup, and place in bowl. Dip additional bread slices into syrup and line sides of bowl, overlapping slightly.
4. Spoon about a third of mixed berries into bowl. Cut several more bread slices to make an even layer of bread over berries, then dip into syrup, arrange, and press down lightly. Repeat process twice, ending with a double layer of bread. Refrigerate remaining syrup.
5. Cover pudding with plastic wrap, place a plate on top, and weigh it down with two large cans. Place bowl on a plate (juice may seep out) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Invert pudding onto a platter (if pudding sticks, slide a knife around the edge) and serve cold with reserved syrup and whipped cream.

May your pink & red dessert be scrumptiously enjoyed by your love/s. Happy St. Valentine's Day.

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