This week marks four years since the Suitor first came a-courtin'. Usually we don't do much to celebrate--or anything, really--but in a break with our non-observance of previous years, this year we decided to do something about it. Or rather, I did, and he went along with it.
Which is not to say that the Suitor was entirely absent from the process, and in fact he was the one who suggested what we ended up doing. We met in New Orleans (at a physics confererence--nerd love FTW!), so the Suitor's idea was that we recreate, more or less, one of the meals we had there. The obvious choice--obvious because it was the most easily mimicked--was our lunch of muffulettas and Pimm's cups at Napoleon House.
This being a weeknight affair, we had the sandwiches made at a local Italian deli using ingredients that were as close as possible to the "real thing." The muffuletta might be best known stateside as a sandwich from New Orleans, but in fact it's a type of bread from Sicily, and only came to be known as a sandwich because of the Sicilian immigrant who first served it at a New Orleans grocery store. The ingredients are more or less typical Italian charcuterie, so we were able to recreate the sandwiches to a fairly good approximation.
The idea was that we would take our sandwiches and drinks and enjoy them at a park a few blocks away from our house, and that's exactly what we did. And yes, that's a Pimm's cup in a Nalgene bottle. 'Cause we're classy like that at the Beyond Ramen household. (I promise, when I drink them at home I use a highball glass like I ought to do.)
Of course, being the way I am, I couldn't let the date pass without making some sort of celebratory mess in the kitchen, and this is where we get to the really fun part:
Those, friends, are beignets: delicious bits of dough fried until puffed and browned, and then covered in a blizzard of confectioner's sugar. They're really just doughnuts, and technically the word "beignet" can be used to describe a variety of fried, doughy pastries, sweet or savory, with or without filling. But for me, and I suspect for a lot of people, the word conjures up not meat-filled pastries, but the simple, ethereal deliciousness of the plain sweet ones.
And as it turns out, they're remarkably easy to make. All you need are a several hours' lead time, a frying/candy thermometer, and the guts to work with oil that's hovering around 360F/180C. Got those? You're all set, so see below the fold for some ingredients and instructions.