Friday, February 11, 2011

Passion: Not Just a Fruit

Some are passionate about baseball. Others, about their career. One might be passionate about their labradoodle, or the GOP candidate.

I am passionate about food.

It doesn't so much matter as to what you're passionate about, as long as you can define some form of passion in your life. It may come in the form of relationships. It may shine through in a dance, or lecture. It comes in all shapes and forms-- it makes us who we are. It is never too late to do something that you thoroughly enjoy doing. It's never too late to make each day worth it.

It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It snuck up on me while I was whining about having to help make dinner. I tried to resist it, it took me down like a welterweight.

The steady rhythm of chopping kale. The tears, brought to my eyes, not only by the beauty of the chopped constituents, but by the damn onions.

The feeling of utter satisfaction, masked by sheer exhaustion when I first heard the shrill timer alerting me that my Mona Lisa was ready to emerge. (Not to mention the applause and approval by my loving mother.)

The blood sweat and tears that went into that first batch of macaroni and cheese was life changing.

(I kid, it was mushroom and feta stuffed chicken breasts.)

From that moment on, I was changed. I had already survived 8,030 passionless days. I would not go one more.

In the past, sure, I thought I was passionate about 98 degrees. I could have sworn I felt it in my soul for my cheer squad pep ralley routine. I was extremely "passionate" about getting my way. Begging my parents daily to allow me to paint my bedroom door light blue. But not only that-- I wanted a yellow star with "Ms. Finch" below it. It was my dressing room.

But not like this.

The feeling that washes over you when you are in your groove- doing something you love - doing something you're GOOD at, is as rewarding as it gets. When the ones you love benefit from your passion- it's even better.

3 years ago, I started my love affair with leftovers. My undying devotion for ingredients.

I will one day grace your television screens, with a fabulous new take on a cooking show on the Food Network. When you're this passionate about anything, how can you fail?

Won't you enjoy some Passion Fruit Mousse?

-3 large eggs
-1/3 cup of granulated sugar
-1/3 cup of passion-fruit puree
-1 tbsp unsalted butter
-1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
-2 cups powdered gelatin
-1 cup heave cream

Fill a medium bowl with ice water; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine eggs, sugar and passionfruit puree. cook, stirring consistently over a medium-low heat until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon; about 3 minutes. Remove from heat- immediately add butter and stir well to combine.

In a medium saucepan, combine the OJ, and 2 tablespoons cold water. Sprinkle geltin over OJ mixture; let stand 5 minutes. Place over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Pour passionfruit mixture through a fine sieve or chinois into a bowl. Stir in gelatin mixture. Place bowl over ice water; mix until the mixture has cooled.

In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the passionfruit mixture. Then, in two additions, fold the lightened passionfruit mixture into the remaining whipped cream. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip; serve in cup sized servings.

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