“Looks can be deceiving — it’s eating that’s believing.” ~ James Thurber
Saturday night’s torrential rains left the flowering plants all droopy and the skies gray until late Sunday afternoon. I finally got a chance to sit in a dry chair on the back porch around 4 p.m. with the sun peeking through the clouds. Sunday afternoons for me — a pot of tea, a good book or two, and something sweet. So, yesterday, sitting on the porch with a steamy cup of Black Dragon Pearl and a handful of Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels (the quickest “dessert” I could find), I went traipsing off to other places, remembering “sweeter” bites. Here are the first to spring to mind: (Double click on photos to enlarge; use back arrow to go back to post)
Bunuelos...Casa del Parque restaurant (Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico). Sweet little pastries, crisp outside and soft inside with a dusting of sugar and cinnamon, a stream of caramel, dollops of ice cream. Next to Parque Benito Juarez, a lovely shady place to stroll, watch the snowy egrets come to roost in the pecan trees, check out the local art work. Bunuelos…for lunch, dinner, bedtime snack.
Tres Leche cake…El Picoteo (Hotel El Convento, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico). Think rich, buttery, dense yellow cake (pound cake will do, too) layered with strawberries and soaked in three milks — evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream…and a terrace overlooking a 100-year-old nispero tree that reaches five floors, filled with tiny white lights that hang in long strands like icicles. In the dusky twilight, from the rooftop, you can see all the way across San Juan Bay to the central mountains rising in the distance.
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate…(Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz Grand Cayman Island). A trio of chocolate — warm chocolate cake, chocolate pot au creme, malted chocolate icecream. Is there really anything better than chocolate? Add a nighttime stroll…
Tiramisu…(La Capilla, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico). Mascarpone and Lady Fingers, Kahlua and cocoa…the ingredients don’t vary much, but all recipes are not created equal. La Capilla’s version is the best I’ve ever tasted! Add to that the setting — the terrace of a restored 16th century building snuggled against the Parroquia (the town’s parish church)…nothing but blue skies and smiling faces.
Sticky Toffee...(Grand Old House at Petra Plantation, Grand Cayman Island). Moist sponge cake with dried fruits covered in a thick, rich toffee sauce. Wiki says the origin of this dessert is a mystery, but the Grand Old House has perfected this mystery sweet to the spoon-licking-good stage. On the porch of the plantation house at sunset, tradewinds blowing through the palms, we bend over the porch railing and watch the tarpons swim in this little lighted corner of the sea.
Warm Mango Crisp…(The Equator, St. John, USVI). Sweet, ripe mango, rich pastry, all warmed up with a touch of rum. Candles lit, night birds singing, gold sun setting behind the distant hills of St. Thomas — a place I come back to again and again… in life, in dreams, in daydreams.