Tuesday, April 14, 2009


If you have ever been on a cruise, you know that one of the highlights is the food. Mom quickly discovered that this was one aspect of cruising that she could become spoiled to. Not only do you spend seven days not having to plan menus, go to the grocery store or cook, but wonderful food is available 24 hours a day. She quickly adapted to having a waiter drop her beautifully folded napkin in to her lap and bringing her whatever she wanted to eat with a mere wave of her hand.

Claiming to have never had room service before, she was elated to have breakfast served to her on china in our room. She even learned how to order it herself.
She also came to appreciate the beautiful desserts that the chefs create. I am always amazed what a pastry chef can do with a little bit of flour or spun sugar. However, these beautiful desserts are only good to look at. Mom discovered, as I have, that European pastry chefs are all about the presentation, not about the taste.

As beautiful as all of these desserts are, they just cannot compare to good old Texas desserts. Give me cobblers, pies, M & M cookies, Texas Sheet Cake and cake balls anytime, especially those made from my family's heirloom recipes.

Sorry dear readers, but those fancy, French culinary trained pastry chefs need a few lessons from a Texas home cook. Maybe our desserts are a little lacking on presentation (however, I think I do a pretty good job of presentation when I set my mind to it), but Texas homemade desserts have these beat by a long shot when it comes to taste.
Even the classics such as cheesecake, creme brulee, and the simple cupcake fall short in the taste department. I'll put my 40 year old cheese cake recipes, cupcake recipes and Louisiana creme brulee recipe up against theirs any time. However, I will give them credit for creating spun sugar that looks like coral. Maybe that is the problem. They spend all of their time shaping pastry to cover a fruit pudding boat and hours spinning sugar. The chef is too exhausted to worry about how the dessert actually tastes!
Of course, I have heard that Americans like things too sweet and that is why we do not care for European desserts. I am not sure about that theory, but I know good desserts when I taste them and these are not it! Still, I always enjoy looking at them and taking pictures.
Now mind you, we did not go without sugar for seven days. All cruises have ice cream machines that are open 24 hours a day. Mom especially looked forward to the chocolate ice cream. Now that I think about it, since Galveston is their home port, that ice cream must have been Blue Bell! No wonder we liked it!

1 comment:

Bobbie Brodsgaard said...

So glad you two went cruising. I know you loved every second! And, yes, desserts on cruises are never good - especially the ones on the buffets. Dining room - not so bad sometimes. As you said, not enough sugar! Still manage to gain 2-3 pounds every cruise, though!