Friday, April 18, 2008

Feeling Alive

Secret Peach Caramel dessert: Tamalehawk saw Jacques Pepin do this on TV. Open a can of peaches in heavy syrup. Generally anything in "heavy syrup" is a cause for at least caution, maybe skeptical inspection, but in this case the heavy syrup is key. If those peaches are sitting in pear juice, then keep walking. Tamalehawk is looking at you, Whole Foods. Pour that heavy syrup into a sauce pan on medium-high heat and start stirring it with a curious type of indifference. You're interested, but not so invested in the outcome that you're going to slam down your whisk in anger if something goes wrong.

Then, think back to the last time you made caramel as an eleven-year-old hawk, just learning to devour the world on your own terms, dropping a metal spoon into the molten mix and instinctively dipping a wingtip in to retrieve it, and learning in a lighting bolt of searing agony that sugar heats to a much more terrifying temperature than you'd ever imagined up to that point, and that you never thought something so delicious could hurt you so bad. Remember how the metal spoon had welded itself to your wounded wing, creating a crater of crystallized caramel, and how you had to snap it off in a defiant crack that would create a scar you would forever wear as a reminder that with everything sweet there is a bitterness that can't be whisked away. Add a dash of cream to the thickened caramel sauce and toss in your peaches. Eat it out of the pan or pour it on ice cream, pancakes, or granola. Congratulate yourself for getting back on the caramel horse. Wonder if there's a way to make and eat a caramel horse.

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