Monday, November 23, 2015

Snow and Ice.

Friday evening and Saturday, we spent time worrying about the possibility of snow. There were snow warnings posted on the weather channel and they forecast several inches for Friday evening. Saturday we saw a few flakes a couple of times during the day but nothing much, although the skies looked threatening, so we finally decided to go and get our pig tails. Well mine anyway, not for Matt and not for the friend who is coming with us. I noticed a friend from Sweden was posting snow pictures on
Saturday. We had our meal at the Legion and were home again by 7:30 a.m. but it was raining so a difficult journey home particularly as our friend, who was driving, was unfamiliar with the road. Matt and I spent the rest of the evening watching a programme called Coast which we enjoy. This one was Coast Australia and talking about the West Coast of that land. Then we watched a programme about Winston Churchill during the first World War which was fascinating. After that, we looked out of the window to see a magical snow landscape. The park looks really beautiful, but I haven't got a camera which will take pictures of such a scene. The above is not our park, but that's kind of what it looks like with the trees looking as though they are made of white lace. Sunday we had more snow. It is really looking like winter round here now.

I just had a thought, I have been blogging for 8 years, I wonder how often I have written about snow.

We have just watched a programme on Public TV called Extreme Ice. I have heard many people pooh pooh scientists and global warming, but if you were to watch this, you can visually see, yourself, what is happening to the once enormous glaciers and vast ice sheets. There was a lot of science explained which I understood but basically couldn't possibly explain but a comment at the end was so very true. We are programmed to think of geology happening millions of years ago or millions of years into the future when it is, in fact, happening right here, right now. They showed a map of the world in about 100 years time with the expected water levels and many coasts and low lying islands will be under water. In fact some islands will completely disappear.

And that is only in the next 100 years. People living in the southern part of Florida won't be able to any more. What they don't know is whether this whole thing is reversible or not. Obviously for many of us today, it won't matter. But if anything can be done it should be done and we should support any such efforts whole heartedly. I don't  believe it is all fossil fuel use, I read somewhere that what volcanoes spew into the atmosphere doesn't help and in many cases is much worse than what we do.


The programme, linked above, was predominantly following scientists and a photographer, James Balog, through the cryosphere to study what is happening and why. Do read it, there is some very interesting information on the page. By the way, that tiny dot is James Balog.

This sounds great. I love Crème brûlée although I have never made one. Not sure why. I did recently get some from our local supermarket which were good, but I discovered I had lost my kitchen torch. No idea how that happened. Trying to caramelize the sugar with the broiler does not work very well, it doesn't crisp which is the essence of this dessert.

Salted Butterscotch Crème Brûlée

Teresa Floyd

Crème brûlée is a classic French dessert that consists of rich custard topped with a thin layer of caramelized sugar. The sharp snap-sound of shattering hard sugar as the spoon breaks the surface and digs into the smooth custard is one of its greatest pleasures. 
Salted Butterscotch Creme Brulee by Teresa Floyd
        



servings:
Makes 6 (five-ounce) servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • fine sea salt for sprinkling

directions

  • 1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • 2 In a medium-saucepan combine heavy cream, milk, and fine sea salt. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  • 3 Melt butter in medium-saucepan and stir in brown sugar. Over medium-high heat bring mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. The sugar will begin to caramelize and turn dark amber in color and become fragrant.
  • 4 Remove from heat and immediately whisk cream into the caramel mixture until smooth. Do this carefully and gradually, as the hot mixture will bubble up vigorously when the cream is added.
  • 5 Whisk together egg yolks and vanilla extract in a large bowl. While whisking continuously, slowly stream the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks until combined. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl or large measuring cup. Carefully pour or ladle custard into each ramekin until full.
  • 6 Place the baking sheet in the oven and pour hot water into the pan until it fills halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are set and centers jiggle slightly when gently prodded.
  • 7 Remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove ramekins from water bath and continue to let cool. Transfer ramekins to refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours. Crème brûlée can be stored, wrapped, for up to three days in refrigerator.
  • 8 To serve, sprinkle each of the custards with one tablespoon of sugar. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar until caramelized and golden. Sprinkle with fine sea salt and serve immediately.

Have a great day
 

27 comments:

  1. Mary Berry made all the bakers use their grill (broiler), for one of the rules on GBBO. No hand-held flame allowed. Love that lady.

    Why did you have someone who doesn't know the roads, drive?

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    1. Don't know Mary Berry Ivy.

      She offered to drive so Matt could have a drink.

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    2. Understanable about the drink. Berry is one of the best bakers in the UK. Very interesting woman and a heck of a good teacher.

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    3. I think I know the programme she is on Ivy. Never watched it.

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    4. It's for bakers. Killer show, been watching it for years.

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  2. Hi Jo - snow and ice - we all seem to be getting some now. We're going to warm up later in the week. Heavy frost this morning ... Love creme brulee ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I thought you might have been interested in the Extreme Ice problem Hilary.

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  3. Hi Jo...let's cut straight to the creme brulee, greedy pig that i am. I adore it. Butterscotch sounds yummy!

    I enjoy Coast, but am always watching Britain's Coast/s. Never seen an Australian one. No snow and ice predicted here. The reverse. Our heatwaves are sizzling us already! Melanomas, here we come!

    Denise :-)

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    1. Butterscotch does sound good Denise.

      Coast is a good programme. You can keep your extreme heat. Did you check on the Extreme Ice?

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  4. You're having snow while we've just had some days of around 35 C and there have been a number of bushfires around the city and in the south of the state. The heat is really setting in early this year.
    I didn't get to watch all of Coast Australia when it was on here and I missed the west coast one, unfortunately. I'm sure it will be repeated, though, so I can catch it then.

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    1. I couldn't cope with the heat you guys get Helen.

      We have been watching Coast most weeks. It's a good programme.

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  5. My hubby likes creme brulee; just gave me an idea for a Christmas gift for him with a kitchen torch so that he perhaps can make his own one day.

    I always liked the first snowfall when we lived in Montana and the March and April snows; wasn't crazy about the January ones though. With trepidation I always watched the forecast closely on when they predicted the snows. Never was fond of driving on it, but learned to at least tolerate it :)

    betty

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    1. I wish I knew where my torch had gone to.

      Driving in it can be difficult Betty but so long as you take it carefully of course.

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  6. The earth is ever changing.
    Sorry you can't get a picture of your snow. We have freezing temperatures but no snow.

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    1. Yes but these changes are pretty serious Alex.

      I got a picture OK as above, it was just the nighttime ones I couldn't get.

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  7. We too were issued a snow warning for a crazy blizzard... and then just got a dusting. It was a pretty dusting, though.

    I'd love to try that creme brulee but I need a good torch first. I once tried to make creme brulee, and like you, I found that a broiler really doesn't so much for the sugar top.

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    1. Well we ended up with plenty of snow but certainly not when or as much as predicted Bryan. Friend's blog quote "Snow is like sex, you don't know when you're going to get it, how much and how long".

      Used to have a torch but have mislaid it. No, the broiler just melted it not crisp at all.

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  8. Here in SC we had frost on our windows one day and wearing shorts the next, lol.

    I will for sure check out that program.

    I love anything butterscotch and that looks heavenly.

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    1. Typical of the Carolinas Brandon. Lived in NC for 12 years. Do check that programme it was interesting. Mind you the photographer is nuts.

      I love butterscotch too.

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  9. Oh I know climate change is a real thing. This planet is in so much trouble right now on so many levels.

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    1. You are right JoJo. Scary thought.

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  10. I love butterscotch anything. Not sure that we'll change anything about how man is hurting the planet when there are countries like China and India that do more damage than anyone else and don't care to change their bad habits.

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    1. I'm not sure they do as much damage as us in the west Susan.

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  11. The volcanoes and solar activity play a huge part in climate change. Not much we can do about that really. You lucky thing having a view like the one in the picture. It's like fairyland Jo.

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    1. True Pinky. The second photo was from our window. The night time one which I couldn't take was just like fairyland.

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  12. St. Catharines has a bubble over it so we got no snow except a bit late today but nothing like what you got. I love a beautiful snow fall-everything looks so clean. We watch Coast as well-quite a good show and I am sorry i missed the Churchill documentary-I meant to watch that. Yes everything is changing and faster than expected but I am also a strong believer in nature. Nature needs our help but I am not the doomsdayer that many scientists are. One thing that is very sad-did you hear about the White Rhino that passed away at the San Diego Zoo? They said that leaves 4 left in zoos across the world. Can't they make test tube white rhinos?

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    1. Well. I have no doubt you will soon Birgit. We enjoy Coast and the Churchill doc was good. I agree with you about nature, but this situation is pretty scary. I heard the black rhino has been pronounced as extinct. Didn't know about the white rhino. Dunno about test tube, but presumably there are male and female animals.

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