Someone Amazing and Chocolate Pudding
So I had gotten really good at being the Single Girl in the Big City. I had just left a very high-stress job and was regrouping trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. If I stayed working in restaurants either as a Chef or Manager I was sure it was going to kill me-I just had to get out, but didn't know how. What should I do with the rest of my life? Be a Photographer? Writer? Go back to school? Yoga/Pilates Instructor? Who knew-defiantly not me! So I took a job as a Restaurant Girl Friday of sorts and just minding my own business when one slow Wednesday night He walked in. Who is He, you may ask? Lets call him Lawyer Mc.Dreamy. Corny, I know-my bff came up with it and I hate to say it, but it totally fits (doesn't hurt that I am a bit dark and twisty too-though these days who isn't)!
We flirted. He distracted me from my job, and I distracted him from his friends. As he was leaving that eveing he slipped me his number. Was it too soon? I had just broken up with Mr. Not Right (again-and for the last time) back in May and was really, really, FINALLY over him. So, yea, I was game and LMD (Lawyer Mc.Dreamy) is really cute-and very tall. I texted him and off we went! We texted and set up a date for that Saturday. He said he wanted to take me dancing-I didn't know that still happened!
I prepped for my date and tried to not get too excited. After work I ran home, shaved, exfoliated, moisturized, slipped into a dress, put on make up- I even put on lipstick and perfume! I slipped on some heals, tossed a pair of flats in my bag and off I went to meet him on the corner of 8th and 6th in the West Village. He had planned for us to go to a jazz club to dance then off to a wine bar for dinner-except that the band who was going to play canceled so at that point I put on my flats and we wandered the Village for a bit till I decided that Otto was exactly what we needed. So we walked through Washington Square Park and spent the next three hours at Otto-we even danced to a song in the dining room of Otto on a Saturday night-it felt surreal and amazing. FYI this is the story that led to him being named LMD by my bff. I let him pay for everything-which never happens, but I really liked him so I just relaxed and enjoyed it. We ended the night with him opening my cab door for me after two bars and kissing me good night-we had spent the past 6 hours together and I couldn't wait to tell my bff about all of it and was really looking forward to the second date.
I wasn't expecting the second date to be the next day. I met him at BedBathandBeyond where I was picking out sheets for my new apartment I was moving into the following weekend. We got a pick-nick at WholeFoods and went to the park where we spent the next few hours. We walked the Highline and went to one of my old restaurants for dinner, we played Ping-Pong at the BeerGarten then watched a movie at his place. It all seemed like some cross between a Katherine Heigl and Reese Witherspoon movie. It was amazing. We talked for hours. He told me that he was divorced with two little girls, and I told him I wasn't afraid of that-I wasn't going anywhere.
He bought me tea in the morning on our way to work for me and school for him. It already felt like we had known each other for a few months. I went home packed and kept on thinking of Chocolate Pudding-I had been thinking of it since we had chocolate ice cream for dessert at Otto (some of the best gelato you will find anywhere-I'm a huge fan of Meridith's). Now, at this point I had waked away from my carrier as a Pastry Chef a few years ago and hadn't cooked anything for fun in over a year. Yet all I wanted to do was make him Chocolate Pudding-the real stuff! So when he invited me over on Wednesday after I got off work that is exactly what I set out to make. It was perfect: rich, smooth, slightly spicy and very decadent exactly what I had in mind. It went perfect with the strawberries he had in the fridge. And I have to say-for the first time ever-I just want to cook for my LMD. I have all these grand food ideas of things to make for him and things we can make together. And, maybe, things I can make with his kids one day too...
So here is the recipe for Chocolate Pudding for Someone New, old or just your special someone!
2C Whole Milk
1 Bag good quality Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I like Guittard)
1/4 C good quality Orange Blossom Honey
1/2tsp fresh ground Pepper
1/4 tsp fresh ground Cinnamon
1 Shot either Scotch, Amaretto, Bourbon, Whiskey or Contreau
3 egg yolks
Scald the milk over medium heat in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. In a small bowl whisk the three yolks together. Remove from heat and add chocolate, honey, cinnamon, and pepper. Return to the stove and heat over low flame till the chocolate is melted-make sure not to burn the chocolate as it will turn bitter! Stirr constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula scraping the sides and bottom. Once the chocolate is melted slowly temper the eggs with the chocolate mixture, return to heat and cook over low flame till it reaches 165F or coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl, add the liquor and a pinch of salt and let cool.
Enjoy on its own, with strawberries, some biscotti, or with just a spoon and your Honey!