Saturday, December 13, 2008

Splendid Table: Splendid Start

Stella ate one bite of Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Salad of Tart Greens with Prosciutto and Warm Balsamic Dressing. Owen ate one bite. But for adults, the first dish prepared from The Splendid Table was splendid. Last time I will use this adjective to describe something from this book. Swear.

Sadly, though, I wasn't kidding in my last post. I miss being
hungry, which is a disgusting, spoiled American thing to say, but true. If you've been eating leftover stuffing and tenderloin and brie and roasted nuts and smoked salmon for weeks, your appetite becomes sluggish and dull and how then do you truly appreciate the prosciutto and shards of Parmesan fortifying a warm, salty, crispy, altogether stupendous salad? 

Dessert: Modena Crumbling Cake (Bensona di Modena). Nice cake! Easy, too. You start out as if you were making a giant, sugary, buttery pie crust, then add eggs and milk and shape it into a fat "S" and bake until golden.

Kasper: "Dunking the crumbling cake in glasses of sweet wine is a favorite way of eating Bensone. The cake breaks up in the wine and is eaten with a spoon."

We didn't do that for several reasons, first being we didn't have sweet wine. Second: does it really sound appealing?

Eaten dry -- like soft biscotti -- the cake was lovely. Kasper again: "Its crust is craggy, and the melting sugar on top looks like molten crystal. Bensone is never too sweet. It looks and tastes homemade -- like a sweet, slightly crumbly biscuit."

Elegant, restrained, Italian.

Here's the sad part. There is a tin of Christmas cookies sitting on the counter, and after a wedge of the not-too-sweet Bensone, I ate a couple of definitely-too-sweet, too delicious American chocolate chip cookies.
No one to blame but myself. 


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