Creme brulee is one of those desserts that has a number of life lessons hidden among its silky smooth custard base.
When you order it in a restaurant, it’s often accompanied by a fruit garnish, and always adorned with a hard caramel top. The delicately burned sugar cracks easily, and needs to be created with care so that it’s not completely scorched. It’s usually served chilled or sometimes at room temperature, and can often be flavored by a liqueur, savory elements or a spice. It’s never a massive serving, a la those seven-layer cakes that are horribly satisfying every once in a blue moon, but it always leaves you feeling content — not to mention all cozy inside.
If creme brulee were to give us a list of commandments, here’s what I think they’d be:
1) Everything in moderation.
2) Remember to eat at least a little bit of fruit each day.
3) Be sure to treat yourself every now and again.
4) When getting a tan, don’t overdo it.
5) Presentation matters.
6) Engage multiple senses to increase enjoyment exponentially.
7) Always save room for dessert.
8) Take your time and hone your skills. The end result will be that much more beautiful.
9) Mix it up sometimes and make your ordinary extraordinary. A pinch of cinnamon or the seeds of a vanilla bean can do wonders.
Tonight I am thankful for the delicious lessons that a luxurious treat such as creme brulee can teach us. Its richness reminds us that a steady diet of everything we want probably wouldn’t be the healthiest existence, but as long as we have cute ramekins or other small containers in which to sample and savor our most decadent treats, balance is maintained and all will be well with the world.