blowtorch or broil.

More from COOKBOOK.DOC. This is a recipe Mara has made many times but we can never actually find the recipe when we want it.

Typing .DOC reminds me of an amusing moment from Corporate Life: I worked in a small district office of the biggest software company alive (back then) and whenever anyone from the Big Office would come visit us little people, people's brains would fly right out of their heads in a panic. The time in question, the visiting executive's name was Ballmer, and the nice woman who was organizing his visit was keeping the agenda for his visit in a file called BALLMER.DOC.

As you sometimes do when you're working on an important document, this person made a back-up copy, and quickly changed one letter of the filename so she wouldn't write over the original. After a bunch of frantic revisions, eventually she sent the final version out to her team members, her male boss, her boss's male boss, etc, in a message simply titled BALLME.DOC. Laughs were had.


ginger crème brulee.

6 large egg yolks (or 6 whole eggs if feeling lazy)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1 2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp. grated lime zest
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar, dried and sifted

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks (or eggs) with sugar and half-and-half until frothy. Heat cream with vanilla, ginger, and lime zest in medium saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes. Don’t let it boil. Slowly and carefully, whisk the cream into the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325. Strain the cream mixture into a bowl and stir in the lime juice. Ladle the mixture into six ½ cup ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking pan and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides. Bake until the custards are just set, 45 minutes. Do not overcook.

Cool the custards a little, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the top of each custard evenly with 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar. Blowtorch or broil until the sugar melts and bubbles. This could take anywhere from 45 seconds to 90 seconds. Serve.

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