This sort of breaks up the chronology I was going for in my European travel journal. I hadn’t yet finished my chronicles of Christmas vacation with the parents, mainly because there are still 7 million photos of that adventure I need to review and organize. However, my birthday present from my partner this year was a weekend in Amsterdam, and it is pretty damn amazing here. So I had to go ahead and write something.
As our original plans to visit relatives in the US before departing for Europe fell through, I thought it would be nice to have my parents here for the Christmas season. Originally, we had only planned to take them to Paris for a few days around Christmas, but then there was also a pressing matter with my residence approval.
The approval had not come through yet when I left San Francisco, meaning the date on my passport stamp upon entering Luxembourg came before the approval. When declaring my arrival for my residence card, the date of entry into Luxembourg had to come after the approval. I realize that is convoluted and confusing, so suffice it to say I had to leave and re-enter the Schengen Area after my approval came through. This meant we had the fortunate bonus of adding London to our trip, as the UK is not a part of the Schengen Area.
NOTE: This was my first time visiting these countries (as was also the case with my partner and parents), so much of the experience includes tour buses and obvious tourist destinations. Despite what the snobs may think, I found it an entirely acceptable way to experience a city for the first time.
I don’t expect much from trashy biographies. I don’t buy them for artistic merit; I want dirt. I’m also not easily shocked. I have a filthy mouth (in appropriate circumstances, granted), I love John Waters movies, and in my college days I even tolerated a Borders coworker playing entire Frank Zappa albums overnight while we stocked shelves. I am certainly no prude. When I pick up a book like this, I want the sordid, salacious, shocking details.
I realize that labeling this dessert “dairy-free” is a bit redundant, given that traditional mousse is made without dairy. However, many recipes do include dairy (usually whipped cream, which is an easy way to weasel out of the beating of egg whites); many savory versions are made with roux thickened sauces (like veloute or beschamel) which also include dairy. However, this is the very simple classic version with just a few ingredients. It is unbelievably simple to make (if your beating arm gets tired, you can use electric beaters), and will be a definite crowd pleaser. The prep takes just minutes, though you need to give yourself at least two hours of chill time (overnight doesn’t hurt either).