Saturday, January 8, 2011

Climbing Mt. Alaska

(Photo by James.)

Our lovely friend Riiiita was here for a couple of chilly days over the Christmas holidays, and she wanted me to teach her how to cook.

"What, everything?" I said, alarmed.

"Pretty much," she said, "but we can start with Baked Alaska."

Now, Baked Alaska is not the kind of thing you'd think of for a first cookery lesson. But the lovely Ms R. is about to move in with the lovely Mr J., and there are little blue birdies tweeting songs of love.

Mr J., we are told, is a man of hidden talents -- he loves to create complicated and extended menus to impress -- so the gal needs something pretty schmick to hold her corner.

(Photo by James.)

When the stakes are high and the gal needs more than an egg and a nifty salad, which Fairy God-Aunt should she turn to? The one looking fetching by the stove, of course. That knows how to cook and can write a mean recipe for the faintest of hearts. We can do it when we have the lovely Ms. Nigella Lawson as team coach for the gal's side.

(Photo BBC, via Telegraph.)
Note the lack of Baked Alaska in her Christmas.

So Rita chose the Baked Alaska from Feast. The little skiier on the mountain of fluffy white egg meringue was, she insisted, essential. James turned his talents to fashion a fine pair of popsicle-stick skis, attached to an unfortunate Christmas tree decoration.

He looks a little piste to me, don't you think?
(Photo by Rita
.)

Nigella's directions were excellent: jolly and explicitly clear. The shopping expedition to the supermarket pondered and found the perfect mountain-shaped slab of coffee ice cream, which was lovingly rested on a cool sponge cake base and then whipped about the ears with puffs of white frothy egg-white meringue. Bake it fast.

We made the Alaska. We Baked the Alaska, and the ice cream did not melt.

(Photo by James.)

A gal could work up a sweat, trying to get that meringue on there as quickly as possible.

slip, slap!
(Photo by James.)

Pleasant surprise at the result, or maybe it was the sugar high? Some foods come with a % recommended daily intake: Baked Alaska needs a Recommended Annual Intake of 1.

Yes, that man is definitely suffering from sugar overload.
Baked Alaska Recommended Annual Intake: 1. Wooden skier: 0.
(photo by Rita)

And we asked Rita today when she would be making the Baked Alaska mountain for the boy. Without missing a beat, she said,

"Baked Alaska, no -- that's a team effort."

Guess she'll be back for more mountain climbing next Christmas, and an annual dose of Alaska!

1 comment:

sahlah said...

Genius! Excellent teamwork. You all are very talented.