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Food as An Art Form 2

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Desserts
Several years ago, we were in Paris and had spent the day trotting around from one museum to another and we were all feeling rather hungry. We decided to eat at the first place we came to and because, in France, you really are not taking any kind of a chance just going into a neighborhood café, we walked into the first place we saw. Once inside we noticed that it was also a patisserie. Well, I couldn't let that go by without investigating it so I walked up to the patisserie case and stood staring at these fabulous tarts, pastries and eclairs and charlottes and my eyes got wider and wider. I went back to our table and announced, "For dinner I am having only desserts!" My three compatriots laughed and then said they would join me. The rules were set--no two people could order the same dessert so that we would all be able to taste as many desserts as possible. Sounded good to me! Back we all went to the patisserie case and each picked his/her 3 desserts and then back to our table we went. Now the garcons came bearing 12 desserts and pots and pots of coffee. Everyone around us was watching us as they placed all of these desserts on the table. It was hilarious. With each plate they placed on the table they laughed more and now everyone around us was laughing at "Les Crazy Americains." Well, I have to say that I never have had such a good time eating as I had that evening. It was like dying and going to heaven. Haven't you always wanted to do something like that?

F1. The Chocolate Soufflé Box. If you haven't had one in France you just haven't lived. It is the lightest most delightful dessert. It literally melts in your mouth and is how I imagine it would be if an angel touched your tongue with chocolate. The flavor is there but the souffle disappears. The top is covered with powdered sugar and the whole thing sits in soufflé dish, the kind that you bake them in, and then is placed on a decorative plate for serving. Inside the box, a smiling pastry chef, sketched, and the clasp is a European Dessert Spoon. Retail: About $175.00. Our price: $157.90. Encore Performance.

F2. The Grand Marnier Soufflé Box. If you are torn between an after dinner drink and a dessert--this is how to have two in one. The Grand Marnier flavor is delectable as you must know if you have ever tasted a Grand Marnier Liqueur and a souffle is to die for. Together they are memorable! The soufflé is in the baking pan and it sits on a charming plate with sprays of roses decorating it. Inside the smiling chef, sketched, and the clasp is a European Dessert Spoon. Retail: About $175.00. Our price: $157.90. Encore Performance.

G. The Tricolor Glacé Dessert Box. A pedestaled ice cream dish with wild roses decorating the outside of the bowl; Raspberry, Lemon and Pistachio Glacé with chocolate sauce drizzled over it and a tiny biscuit topping the whole thing. It looks good enough to eat. Nothing inside and the clasp is a simple shell. Our price: $133.90. Encore Performance.

H. The Poached Pear and Chocolate Sauce Box. The pear is tender and delicately flavored, you can tell from it's color. The chocolate is thick and oozing down the sides of the pear, just delectable looking as it puddles on the plate. My mouth fairly salivates just looking at it. The plate, of course, is Limoges. (You were expecting Bone China, perhaps?) Under the plate is the box and inside the box is a steaming cup of tea, painted. The clasp is a European Dessert Spoon, Our price: $134.90. Encore Performance.

I. The Raspberry Charlotte Box. A Charlotte is made by lining a mold with Lady Fingers and filling it with crushed fruit, raspberries in this case, custard and/or whipped cream. This one happens to be topped with a thick Raspberry Sauce with a tiny bunch of grapes in the center of it for color. Charlottes are pretty to look at and simple to make and they are delectable. This one is sitting on a Limoges plate decorated with tiny roses. Inside, champagne in a flute, and the clasp is a European Dessert Spoon. Our price: $124.90. Encore Performance.

J. La Recette de Cuisine Box. The Recipe Book for making raspberry jam which can be used in the above Raspberry Charlotte. The recipe, or part of it, is actually on the inside of the box. On the cover is the pot used for cooking the raspberries, the jars to hold the preserve, several different types of berries and dimensionally, the wooden cooking spoon for stirring. Also inside, a dimensional and removable rolling pin for rolling out the pastry crusts to go with the fruits. Our price: $214.90. Encore Performance.

NOTE 1: We haven't had any of these for a number of years but I think there are lots of new collectors who would love to be able to collect boxes from a few years back so we have recapped a previous performance.

NOTE 2: I specifically mention European Dessert Spoon because they use a much larger spoon for dessert than what we use in the USA. They use what we would consider a large soup spoon.

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