Monday, March 14, 2005

Twinkies Flambe

Women ARE from Venus and men ARE from Mars, that’s all there is to it. That is not to say, however, that men should not tone down their belching at the table of a fine dining establishment, after a lovely Valentine’s dinner, in deference to their partner’s feminine sensibility. And certainly, my wife will occasionally allow me, a man from Mars, to construct a new piece of unfinished furniture we have just purchased, on the living room floor, without looking at the instructions.

Marie is kind to my step-son Blaine and I, when our male energy is soaring, and the TVs are blaring two different NFL games, on Sundays, during football season. Of course Blaine and I are watching different games, in different rooms, and we have to keep each other apprised of the scoring, and great plays, by hollering to each other, as in:

Ric: Blaine, did you see that catch?
Blaine:What catch?
Ric: Are you watching the Indy game?
Blaine: No
Ric: Well turn it over right now, you gotta see this catch on the replay!

Marie sits with her book in hand, reading, I dunno, some national best seller by Jose Saramago, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which she has plucked from the twelve or so she is currently reading, and gives me “the glare” over her glasses. I know I had better keep it down a bit. Sometimes, Blaine and I watch games together in his room, when I can find a place to land. We have snacks, and break down every little part of the game, like Martians are wont to do, argue, belch. “Marie”, we call out, “You gotta see this!”

Blaine is an educated and consistent Internet user. Currently, he is acting as a selected “moderator” of a Portland Trailblazers forum, helping to keep participants of the forum from overstepping the forum rules. We are proud of him for becoming such a proficient computer user, and he has even learned how to break’em down, and build them. Sometimes, in the evening, I hear, from my easy chair in the living room, where Marie and I are huddled up with HGTV, the little whooshing sound that his computer makes, each time he receives a new iChat message, oh, every 20 seconds or so, even less, as he communicates with his many, many iChat friends.

Being on the Web so much affords Blaine all kinds of information. For example, if the Blazers make a trade, we know about it minutes after it happens. And of course, with all of that iChatting going on, he will come to us with all sorts of unusual information. Stuff he hears from his friends online, jokes and stories, and websites to blow the mind.

Such was the case when, a couple of years ago, he found a recipe, online, for “Twinkies Flambe”, noodlin’ ’round in cyberspace. I am sure you can imagine Marie’s glee when we announced our intention to make a batch.

Twinkies Flambe rule. They are one of those tacky foods, like lime cucumber jello salad, that you have to admit you like. Well, some may think I am going a bit overboard here, but, what’s not to like? It’s basically spongecake, Twinkie filling, cherry filling, and brandy!

It’s a warm summer evening, and you and your guests have just dined on sumptuous barbecued leg of lamb, medium rare, and greek salad, loaded with fresh heirloom tomatoes from the garden and lots of feta, pocket bread, and a delicious Pinot Noir. The sun is receding, the sounds of Mozart bleed into the garden from the iPod you have connected to your Bose. More wine, laughter. It’s time for dessert.

You reach into your fridge for the special dessert you have prepared ahead, for your guests to enjoy. Imagine their delight as you bring the flameproof container to the table, and set it before them, and announce, “tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is a night for Twinkies Flambe!”

You pour on an ample amount of brandy, and ignite the dish. Your guests are enchanted, thrilled as the heat from the fire in the fading sunlight glows amid the white tablecloth and refreshed, sparkling glasses of Pinot.

Your guests are served, and you top each serving with, oh, perhaps some sweetened whipped cream, or vanilla Haggen Daz. They dig in. The look of extreme pleasure on their faces tells you that you have scored big with Twinkies Flambe, the perfect conclusion to a perfect evening.

Am I still going overboard? Maybe. But Blaine and I think they’re great, and fun to make. Marie, ummmm, I don’t think she said too much. To be honest, I think she was too busy shaking her head in disbelief.

But I am SO SURE that you and yours will love this dish, that I am going to reprint it here, and when you make it, let me know how it went! As you can see from the photo above, Twinkies Flambe are marvelous!

You make’m like this:

Twinkies Flambe
1 box of 10 Twinkies
1 12 oz. can of fruit pie filling (cherry in my case)
1 Bottle of brandy (must be better than 90 proof)
Powdered sugar

Put the Twinkies into a 9"x13" flameproof baking pan. Spread the fruit pie filling on top of the Twinkies. Splash a good amount of the brandy over the whole glop. Ignite carefully and allow to burn for several seconds. Extinguish the flames while they are still bluish. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy.

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