November 19, 2006

Pour some sugar on me...

Every open house is a little different, from a culinary perspective.

Sure, the pork, the spinach dip and the mushroom tarts are always a hit.

But from there, the first-to-go dishes vary year-to-year.

In 2000 it was a smoked salmon mousse.

In 2003, it was a simple jar of Caramel Sin with some bananas sliced for dipping. When the bananas disappeared, guests improvised with meatballs. Hey... we have eclectic friends.

In 2004 it was a loaf of ciabatta sliced and smothered with brie, sprinkled with brown sugar, spotted with walnuts, and slid under the broiler.

This year, that honor belonged to the desserts. First, Fine Cooking Magazine's Chocolate Stout Cake had people reaching for their dessert forks.

But the real honor of the day belongs to my new friend Peabody and her Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. We took a handful of pictures as we prepared the recipe, sensing from the silky quality of the cheese filling and the earthy-sweet smell of fall in the pumpkin swirl that it was going to be a winner. And I had every intention of photographing a slice of the final product. Heck, I had every intention of *tasting* a slice of the final product.

But this cheesecake may have broken a record on my buffet table. I put it out, made my way around the living room collecting empty wine glasses and plates for deposit in the kitchen. And no more than ten minutes later, the cakestand was empty. A dozen people asked me for the recipe. Several mentioned having taken "small slices" "just to taste" the latest dessert -- and found themselves back in line to retrieve "the rest of [their] serving."

Thanks Peabody. You've got several new Bay Area fans...

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wheresmymind said... I've got that song stuck in me brain!

peabody said...

Yay! I'm so glad it worked out. That was definitely one of my better "concoctions" :)