A picture really is worth 1000 words.
My interest in cooking started many years ago with baking and confectionary, and it is still what I love most in the culinary world. Standing in front of the beautiful Skirtz & Johnston patisserie storefront at Findlay Market on Sat again brought forth my deepest culinary passion: baking.
S & K’s cannoli combines two of my favorite ingredients: pistachios and ricotta cheese. Recently in this blog, we promised ourselves never to buy commercial ricotta again, so easy, light and tender is homemade. No doubt there are slight modifications to the ricotta recipe we used that will alter or even improve its texture or taste. Great.
Have you ever imagined yourself in a role other than the one you now identify with? A totally different career, perhaps? Or a significant commitment of your time strictly to serve others without expectation of personal benefit? Can you think of a role where you might lose your identity? How does it feel to be in touch with a shift that profound? Many of us have pivots in our lives that allow us to soften our view of who we think we are, then test the waters by stepping into a new life. (Often testing the waters feels more like falling into the abyss.) We still appear as who we’ve always been, but possibly more honest with ourselves and more authentic in our relationships and in our place in the world.
So, what does this have to do with pastry? We each have a creative place or a place of service we can easily get lost in. For me, it’s making European desserts and confectionary. The step-by-step process of starting from scratch and building something to completion down to the last detail, then giving it away as a gift (or selling it) to others is immensely creative and fulfilling, yes?
For me, it’s fun to take a dessert or confection and break it down, then thoughtfully alter the ingredients to change the result. I will say the Skirtz and Johnston pistachio cannoli are super-creamy and very, very sublime. The cannoli appears weighty and dense, but is actually quite light. In fact, the dessert is dreamy in its lack of sweetness.
Then again, maybe I don’t need to improve it. Maybe I should just enjoy what someone else created for me. Create. Give. Receive.