Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dessert we MUST try

I ran across this totally by chance. I remember in 1969 making Helen Corbitt's recipe for chili in a popcorn popper in the Memphis State dorm. Momma had told me who she was and I still have her cookbook w/ recipes from the N-M spa called "Helen Corbitt Cooks for Looks"
anyway--doesn't this sound interesting:

lostdessertscover_sized.jpgRizzoli’s Lost Desserts doesn’t come out until November, but publicist Pam Sommers was nice enough to send us a recipe from Dallas’ Helen Corbitt, the famous chef at Neiman Marcus’ The Zodiac Room, and whom Stanley Marcus once touted as “the Balenciaga of food.” Hit the jump for the recipe.

Caramel Soufflé
With Custard Sauce

Helen Corbitt’s legendary Caramel Soufflé is the type of dessert meant to be served from a trolley cart. It is a big, marvelous caramel meringue and paired here with a vanilla custard sauce (crème anglaise). Corbitt must have been influenced by the Portuguese molotov pudding, another caramel meringue and essentially the same dessert. To my taste, however, Corbitt’s sauce is infinitely better than the overly sweet, eggy, yellow one that accompanies the pudding. A friend once told me that the purpose of Portuguese desserts is to use up the egg yolks left over when the nuns had used the whites to starch their habits. I have no idea if this is true, but if the molotov sauce is any indication, maybe it is. The Portuguese inclusion of toasted almonds adds visual appeal and is a crunchy contrast to the marshmallowy quality of the soufflé. I’ve added them along with a hard caramel drizzle to the original recipe given to me by Bertha Shields, who worked with Corbitt in the 1950s.
Two very similar classic desserts are île flottante and oeufs à la neige. Both, like Corbitt’s soufflé, feature a soft meringue drizzled with hard caramel and floating on a crème anglaise. “Floating island,” however, is a large baked meringue, while “eggs in snow” is composed of individual meringues that are poached rather than baked. These two desserts differ from the soufflé in that the basic meringue is flavored with vanilla rather than caramel.
Serves 6 to 8

About 3 tablespoons butter and 1⁄4 cup sugar for
preparing the cake pan
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar, plus 1⁄2 cup for the hard caramel drizzle,
if desired
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sifted cornstarch
Crème Anglaise (see recipe, page 190)
Raspberry Sauce (see recipe, page 190)
1⁄3 cup coarsely chopped toasted, blanched almonds (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter and sugar a 3-quart soufflé dish.
2. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites together with the salt on low speed; gradually raise the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
3. Meanwhile, place 2 cups of the sugar, the cream of tartar, and 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and continue to boil until the syrup is a dark caramel, and a candy thermometer reads approximately 375 degrees.
4. The egg whites should be ready by now. If they are ready before the caramel, turn off the mixer. The whites can wait a few minutes, but they must be ready before or at the same time as the caramel. So adjust stove heat and mixer speed accordingly. Or turn one or the other off for a bit if necessary. As soon as the caramel is ready, very slowly pour the caramel into the egg whites, beating constantly. Do this very slowly or the caramel may not incorporate properly.
5. Once all the caramel has been added, beat in the vanilla and the cornstarch.
6. Very gently spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish; the soufflé mixture will rise above the top of the dish. This is okay as it will rise further when cooking and then sink as it cools.
7. Place the soufflé dish in a bain marie (a larger pan with boiling water to a depth of at least 2 inches). Put in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees. After 5 minutes, turn off the oven. Do not open the oven door. Let the soufflé bake for 15 minutes more, then remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. It will be golden and crusty on top.
8. Loosen the sides with a long knife and invert onto a serving plate.
9. If desired, make the hard caramel drizzle: Cook the 1⁄2 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons of water as described in step 3, until the caramel is dark. Pour it over the soufflé in a thin stream to make an interesting pattern on top. Let harden.
10. Serve cooled, accompanied by crème anglaise or raspberry sauce (even better with a tablespoon of Poire Williams added), or both, and sprinkled with the toasted almonds, if using. Or omit all sauce and simply garnish with fresh berries.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Real Big Stuff

I saw this huge ice cream cone light online and thought it was GREAT ! Then I found this website of Great Big Stuff...and they have lots of interesting things in JUMBO sizes.
Big Fun ;o)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 A new file drop site

A new (to me) file share site called

If you have a big file, like a video or folder full of pix or whatever, you can upload to and then let others (that you choose) retrieve the file for free.

There have been other file drop sites around but most dont seem to be able to support themselves so they go away. But they are really handy for stuff too big to email, so I am glad to find this one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thumbs are doing well

Thanks to everyone who wished me well when I had thumb surgery. Both hands, ...I felt like a silly person w/ monkey hands for a couple days. But now they are becoming healed.

I got Dave to take the stitches out last Wed since the skin was growing over them and grossing me out and he skin was trying to grow over a knot and the attached cut ends of thread so the skin was all irritated and hurting like a splinter in your hand. So he took them out for me.

At my app't on Fri. the doctor was somewhat astounded that we did that, but was about 10 days post-op and the stitches needed to come OUT. I still cant bend my thumbs back all the way that I used to be able to...seems that I had extra wide range-of-motion before, acc'd to him, but they were in splints so much for 6 months that those muscles and tendons and such are probably never gonna stretch out like they were before. They are 100% usable now and that is all that matters.

I asked him questions about several other areas of my bod while I was there. I told him that I wanted my money's worth. Mostly he responded that getting old was the pitts and I should expect such things and did I think I was gonna avoid all the getting old stuff...and I said YES, if I could.

He ended up X-raying both my thumbs in 3 positions to look at the joints. I told him that they looked like they were twisting to me. Same pronouncement...old age. Me and Bob Dylan it seems(see previous post).

Thoughtful comments from W.A.

I read this on a machine embroidery website, of all things, but if you read it slowly and think about each line, it makes sense..

"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down." Woodie Allen

Now it just so happens that I have a W.A. movie that came from Netflix this week. I never saw it in its entirety. I think that once I watched it half way thru and thought 'this is dribble' and turned it off...but here it is a million years later and I still read references to it I decided to watch it in totality. I feel 'in the dark' every time someone references it. Seems like I remember it being in black and white, or maybe that was just my impression.

Last week I watched (on several chunks of time) "No Direction Home" a two CD set of a movie about Bob Dylan. It kills me to see him looking old. I think of Bob Dylan as AGELESSSSSSSS. Dylan and his music were the biggest and most constant thing ever in the background music of my entire college life. I cant even think about the time when no one knows who he was.
He had 4 kids and never mentioned them in all this long interview movie. I looke da couple of them up online. One is a film producer, he even looks old himself ! Another one is a son who has a couple kids himself now, he was on David Letterman the other night as a solo singer. No where nearly as mesmerizing as his dad. Hard act to follow, no doubt. So Bob Dylan is a grandfather. Wonder what kind of grandfather he is ?

Even w/ 4 hours of interviews and film clips, they basically said nothing about his personal life...I was disappointed in that. It is the kind of thing you can listen to and look up every so often, and if you miss something you really want to see, then use the back button (if you can read it in that tiny print).

Here is another interesting quote that I ran across today:
Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
- Robertson Davies

I do not know who Robertson Davies is or was.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


New photos arrived today from the factory..yipee...I am posting this via the Flickr auto post thing...Cement Tile


villa-lagoon-tile-savona-beach, originally uploaded by lundini1.

I am testing the flickr auto blog this thing.

Free Father's Day Cards

Heather and I are making some this week. The first free father's day card is here. We will be adding some more plus additional instructions tomorrow.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Creative Juices

Where do they come from ? A farm in the U.K.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Thumbs Up

Tomorrow is my thumb surgery--both of them. Less expensive that way, a bit more inconvenience but shouldn't be too bad. I am pretty good w/ my other 4 digits per hand. The surgery is called Release of the A1 pulley. Trigger Thumb--Online it says: A mismatch between the flexor tendon and the proximal pulley mechanism occurs in most cases. Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between this condition and activities that require exertion of pressure in the palm while a powerful grip is employed or that involve repetitive, forceful digital flexion (eg, arc welding, use of heavy shears).
I say: OR BICYCLING w/ gear levers in weird positions that you are not used to !

Bruce Minkin, who grew up next door tome, is now a hand specialist in Ashville. I contacted Bruce who had Dr. Robt Cameron of P'cola call me. This doctor does this surgery several times a week. He says it will only take about 15 min and my recovery is less that an week. He says it has a very good outcome. He told me that the shots in the thumb route has a poor outcome in thumbs that have lost the flexibility that mine have. I will be glad to get this over with and have the pain stop.
Send all get-well cards w/ money in them to:
Lundy Wilder
15342 St Hwy 180 W
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Steve Hutton Wedding on the Beach

Yesterday afternoon, my nephew, Steve Hutton got married to Kelly Nelson down in front of The Beach Club on Ft. Morgan Rd. It is about 6 miles down from me. Perfect weather for an outdoor wedding. Steve has 3 little girls, and Kelly has two boys. Her parents came down and my sister, Lisa and her husband, Henry were here too. It was a short, sweet ceremony and we had a fun dinner at The Beach Club on the veranda afterwards. I think everyone, including the children, had a good time. The Hutton side of the family will be down here for a week total. So nice for me to get to spend time w/ them. Here is a bunch of wedding photos that I took, click on them to see it bigger.
During dinner, Marie, Steve's youngest asked me when the wedding was gonna start. I told her that it had already happened out on the beach. She said, Oh no, it has to have LOTS of people standing in rows and the bride and groom have to walk down between them. I told her that this was a short , sweet different kind of wedding and she should be glad for it. I told her that surely she would have gotten really tired and bored and probably fussed at more if this had been a big church wedding. We were all glad that this was a short, sweet wedding.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Google Mashup

Check out to see how bad the crime is in your area. You can see by this map why I don't want to live in Memphis anymore. Each symbol stands for a different type of crime. A gun is armed robbery, a red dot is a shooting. This mash-up doent even show all of it cause I checked smaller towns and could see plenty of crime not on the map. But , just look at what DID make it to this system. You can click this map to see a bigger image.