So says my best friend Kathleen and her husband, Gary, stands firmly by her side in this opinion.  And now, as I sit and type this in their living room, I have just overheard her whispering in the kitchen to her 6-year old son, “What do we do with this terrible dessert?”

Yes, I’m afraid this was the verdict on the “Caramel-Covered Semolina Cake” from Dori Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  I prepared it this afternoon at my home in New Jersey and transported it, still warm, to Westchester County.  It sat in Kathleen’s kitchen, quietly waiting, for our return from a hockey game and group dinner, and I had high hopes for it, as an accompaniment to our wine and conversation.  Alas, my hopes were quickly dashed as both Gary and Kathleen pronounced the golden raisins problematic.

“I need to try a bite without raisins,” said Kathleen.  “Hmmm…is it supposed to be served cold?”

“Warm or room temperature,” I replied.

“Let me stick a non-raisin bit in the microwave.”  By now, Gary had entered the kitchen.

“Here – try this,”  Kathleen said while passing a forkful to him.

Gary made a bit of a face.  “Raisins really don’t belong in dessert. I don’t even like them in a noodle kugel.”

“Well, Dori says you can substitute any dried fruit, or even a bit of apple or pear sauteed in butter.  She also recommends serving it with a bit of creme fraiche.”

“Now THAT sounds like a good idea – but skip the fruit entirely, ” came Kathleen’s response.

And so ends my report of this week’s French [Saturday] with Dori.

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