Saturday, October 27, 2007

The best kind of birthday gifts - wonderful edible nibbles

October is a complicated time around these parts. It's a time to remember a great loss, a loved one much missed. But the month always manages to end on a wonderful note, because, well, I turn a year older this month. And love pours in through my mailbox all month long, in edible forms of course. :)

First to show up was a bag of Garrett's potent popcorn mix from Chicago. Cheddar cheese and caramel may not sound like the dream combination. But Garrett has turned it into an art form. Lightly salty, deeply cheesy, and punched up with a good dose of sweetness. Yum!

Next came a little wooden crate of John & Kira's chocolate covered figs from Philadelphia. These little guys keep a wonderful secret. underneath the Valrhona chocolate robe and the thin fig skin reside a big ball of ganache filling. Silky and smooth. I love little surprises!

Then came my new obsession, Fran's caramels. The precious little gems waltzed into my life via two day air from Seattle and instantly took over my heart. Studded with a little pinch of gray or smoked sea salt, each caramel delivers the ultimate burst of savory, creamy, and sweet. I have no idea why, but every time I take a nibble, I feel as if I am smelling crispy autumn sea air on a cliff with a buttered rum in hand.

Last but most definitely not least, came the love of my life. I may covet the caramels, I may become infatuated with tiny figs, but I will always always LOVE the macarons. This year, these cute representatives came wrapped in what else, but the prettiest boxes covered in polka dots (another obsession). L. A. Burdick in New Hampshire actually calls these Luxembourgers. No matter, they are what they are, delicate little macarons (not macaroons) in my favorite autumn flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and of course chocolate for good measure. About the size of a silver dollar, the cinnamon puff quickly became my favorite for how it disappears on the tongue like a tiny piece of cloud, cloud that tastes like the holidays - of cinnamon, cream, and warmth.


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