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First thing.

This morning at an outdoor cafe, I ate breakfast. The glorious weather and friendship made this a wonderful experience. However, I have a teeny weeny little issue. The one thing about breakfast plate presentation that has always bothered me (besides the parsley sprig), is the orange slice (plus a few dead looking slices of melon and a couple of red grapes just for color) garnish. Why?? Anyone remember learning hot food-hot plate; cold food-cold plate? Well, oranges are cold and shouldn’t be served alongside a hot omelet. Plus, they make anything that they touch taste like orange. If I wanted a spinach-cheese-orange omelet, I would order one. However, I prefer just spinach and cheese. Last weekend, out to breakfast again, a lovely omelet and surprisingly enough, a really tasty melon, but still warm plate with cold (or should I say, warm) fruit. Put the fruit in a ramekin, maybe? Does anybody else have a similar garnishing frustration? I would love to hear about it.

Second thing.

Some of you out there might know that I have recently been diagnosed with ALS, Amythrophic Lateral Sclerosis. So my future all of the sudden has been shortened rather significantly. For me, one of the most obvious parts of my life that I will focus on a little more intently, will be food. Some of you who know me might ask if that is even possible?! Tonight, I received a special treat; my first soft shell crab of the season! Courtesy of Bob’s Seafood and my mother, I was able to enjoy one of my most favorite delicacies. Yes, they were pretty darn good. Now, they weren’t as good as the very first soft shell that I had in Annapolis, Maryland many years ago. My family shared a few of these crabs on white bread with cups of French fries with the skins on them. The crabs were oh so yummy; crispy and that crunch so unique to soft shells. At the age of 12, I was hooked. Those fries are as memorable to me as the crab and only one person has been able to create that taste experience for me. A chef-instructor friend at L’Ecole Culinaire made some of these long fries lightly dusted in sea salt. Some of the fries must be crispy while some are still soft and tender. I am not one to tell you how to cook soft shell crabs or even French fries for that matter, but I can advise you to enjoy some soon! Their season is short. A restaurant in St. Louis called Zinnia makes a great soft shell crab and I look forward to heading over there in the next couple of weeks.

Next thing.

La Maison du Chocolat!

Marla Scissors, who teaches baking and pastry classes at Kitchen Conservatory, contributes occasionally to What’s Stirring.

2 Comments for “2 Things”  

  1. Laura

    Marla, you hit the nail on the head with the orange! No one eats it anyway and it makes everything else taste yucky. Ramekins all the way unless they just want to leave it out completely!

  2. Karen B.

    I agree with your comments about the fruit. My pet peeve is melon, as I swear I can taste it if it comes w/in walking distance of any other food!