Thursday, September 08, 2005

Milles Etoiles

The Stanford kids are scaring me.

The future leaders of our nation, the smartest and coolest of the cool, right?

Tonite, after dinner (Local English sole with Muzu apples, roasted garlic and proseco; wild rice salad with toasted broccoli, heirloom tomatoes with bufalo mozz and purple basil, roasted round carrots and yellow finn spuds, individually boiled local organic corn cobs with artizanal butter and cracked pepper) the Back-up Vanessa asked shyly and sweetly for hot chocolate.

Matt the Human Golden Retriever S.A. (Student Advisor) was busy setting up his computerized home movies about his trip to Patagonia. We have hope for the only obvious stoner on the crew....among other attributes.

I sensed the need for a stall......Two minutes, perhaps. In my role of Idiot Chef Boy, I produced the following monologue to fill the void:

Hot Chocolate? Well, can I just share with you a little story. I had a friend in the late seventies who often wound up in jail. I would write, bring books and other jail luxuries where possible. He had a sweet tooth, and I supplied him with a variety of panaceas.

Also, back in the day we had a part-time gig house-sitting the Crocker Mansion in Pebble Beach. A half-French dude named Frank Beau used us as caterers, drivers, gardiners, chefs and house-sitters for the lease holders......Wells Fargo Bank, and their CEO who was trying to crack into the Cypress Point Club by conspicuous entertaining. Bad plan, but....oh, well.

Leave those stories for another time, but suffice it to say that there were: pre-Prohibition 151 Bacardi from the cellars, along with 1931 Inglenook Cab and pre-Teddy Roosevelt Marie Brizzard anisette; Charlemagne's dining table, with hollows carved down at each place setting from the days before plates; secret passageways to Masonic fuck chambers with gold fixtured hot-tubs; sniper rifles from the tower blowing up plaster seagulls on the neighbors' that.

Anyway, one cold November afternoon Frank Beau called and invited me to an Alliance Francaise dinner at the Mansion for that very night. Now, I am way more of a "Down and Out in Paris and London" Francophile than and Alliance Francaise dude...but: the ex-wife studied there when I was in Burgundy, and I still feel the pull. Sure, Frank......

Twenty minutes after the first invite, Frank calls back: "Michael, can you bring a dessert?" Oh.....Fuck you, Frank. I guess us working stiffs need to sing for our supper. Any supper. Dessert for 14, no problem. Twenty minutes notice.

Well, I mustered my materials with a brief stop at Kasey's....thinking of my jail buddy. I endured the dinner....even polishing up my subjunctive tense for the Grandes Dames. When dessert came, I disappeared into the kitchen and went to work.

A few minutes later I returned. Fourteen large brandy snifters filled with a foamy, sweet liquid. "Mesdames et Messieurs, pour vous, pour le premier fois: Sabayon Milles Etoiles......" They were stoked. Immediately they started to guess the ingredients in this fabulous creation: "Some Tia Maria, no?" "No....Tuaca!" "No, no! Grand Marnier!" "Tell us, tell us!"

"Sorry guys.....Milles Etoiles, c'est tout!"


Yup....that's it: "Milles Etoiles" is French for "Milky Way".

Like my jail friend always asked for: a piece of Milky Way, some water and an immersion heater.....Not bad.

Alliance Francaise hasn't called recently.....and it has only been 20 years!

Anyway, it took two and a half minutes for the story......30 seconds too long. The kid Matt was visibly fuming at the delay.......Gotta get to those slides........

Uh.......I guess I keep my light under a bushel from here on out.......

Hey......I thought I was the fluffer!


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