Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sweaters and Sugars

Cool weather, love it! Had a nice dose of cold and wet a couple of days ago, it hit the spot. The cool fall mornings also remind me that I need some new duds: sweaters, scarves, hat, etc. Most importantly, however, these days remind me that it is dessert season. Sure, it's nice to have all the fresh fruits of summer, but how about some good ole' refined sugar?

Two things that I can't seem to get out of my mind: rice pudding and eclairs, what a combo!

The first one is an addiction, but at least I know where my dealer lives. The "pusher man" is right around the corner at the India House (1514 Blake St., 80202). You scoff, yes, you do. Admit it! You look down that long, chiseled, razor sharp nose at me, don't you. "Sebas", you say, "how could you waste our time with lowly rice pudding?" But you err, my friends, you know not the pleasures of truly great rice. For as long as man has beat the rice and milked the cow (I'll wait while our guttersnipes catch up!), they have enjoyed a multitude of sweet rice concoctions: kheer, Shir-berinj, arroz con leche, Kao niow dahm. Every culture has one. India House just happens to have Denver's very best Kheer. Sweet, creamy, rice pudding flavored with cardamom and sprinkled with pistachios, yum. If you show up to their lunch buffet and it's all gone, it's because this junkie has already been there.

My second addiction is not full-blown, but that's not for a lack of effort on my part. A reviewer of Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette had the audacity to say: "How many ├ęclairs can one wash down with champagne before that exercise becomes pedantic?" I ask you, where can you find an enraged mob with pikes, pitchforks and other stabby-things in Denver? Wasn't the guillotine outlawed too soon?

I would love the opportunity to test the human limits of alcoholic bubbles and cream stuffed puffs! Alas, I have high standards, and I have not been able to find the proper ingredients for such an undertaking. If I could just hop over to Paris and pick up a box of goodies at Laduree, all would be well. Until I do, the quest for the perfect eclair goes on. Tell me what are the requirements to find such a delight in Denver? A pure heart, a white steed, a bubble of sea-level atmospheric conditions? Can no one make something light and ethereal with a heart of cream in this town? Please help this errant knight find his champagne filled grail with a side of puff!

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