Everything Falls – Lessons in Life and Souffle | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Palo Alto Online |

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Everything Falls – Lessons in Life and Souffle

Uploaded: May 29, 2023

Did you catch Martha Stewart on Sports Illustrated last week? At 81 years, she’s their oldest cover girl, beating Elon Musk’s mum, Maye Musk, who posed at age 74. I love watching Stewart reinvent herself time and again. What surprised me was all the discussion about “her girls.”

“I had to wear nine different bathing suits. All these people were prodding me and talking about ‘the girls.’ I have never called my breasts ‘the girls’ in my life. I hate stuff like that. The whole time, people were nudging, Poke this out, push that in.” - Martha Stewart

Gravity won out in the cover shot; it’s a nicely framed pix of breasts acting their age. But the accompanying media swirl about older women’s breasts, falling, they just lay there?, gender on steroids, and ohmygoodness who cares, this is newsworthy in 2023? Here’s the real story readers…

Everything Falls.

- graphic courtesy of the web

It might start with breasts or your face, but arms and stomach quickly settle. When the butt starts sliding south, you’re like…. really? But nature keeps goin. Tops of thighs succumb even if you’ve exercised all your life. And then the real kicker, the one media needs to discuss:

Our Sides Slowly Sink.

- graphic courtesy of the web

You know, that part between your upper legs and armpit. Who’s ever thought about body sides until the years creep in and remind us? Are there even exercises for de-sagging sides? This must be a big reason why balance is one of the first things to suffer with age. Falling breasts is a kiddy game compared to the rest of our descending destiny.

Alas, the only thing in life we might save from falling is souffle, as least long enough for blissful consumption. They too will eventually fall once hot air escapes the puffed-up whites, but until then remember - technique triumphs.

Interested in points all their own staying way up high? Here’s souffle tips for a good rise:

1. Use baking dishes with straight sides.
2. Butter only the bottoms of your souffle cups, not the sides
3. Preheat your baking sheet.
4. Use room temperature eggs.
5. Don’t overmix. Leave a few white and black streaks after folding in whites.
6. Keep the oven door closed during baking. Use the light to watch.
7. Don’t overcook; a little jiggle will do you
8. Cream of Tartar stabilizes egg whites.
9. Bake souffle and serve immediately.

- photo courtesy of LSIC

Chocolate Pinot Souffle
Makes 3

1.5 tablespoons butter
½ cup rough chopped dark chocolate
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons Pinot Noir or Zinfandel
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tbsp ground almonds
2 egg yolks (room temperature)
3 egg whites (room temperature)
Powdered sugar or cocoa for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Position your oven rack in the bottom 1/3rd of your oven. Preheat your baking sheet.

Melt ½ tablespoon butter, and brush it onto the bottom of 3, ¾-cup soufflé dishes.

Combine chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with one tablespoon of butter, vanilla, wine, and all but ½ tablespoon of the sugar. Microwave in 30 second intervals, checking and stirring the chocolate, (1 minute or so) until smooth. Cool five minutes, then beat in egg yolks, one by one, and add in ground almonds.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add the remaining ½ tablespoon sugar and beat again until they form stiff peaks.

Fold a third of the meringue through the chocolate, then gently fold in remaining meringue. Some streaks of white and black are good to have.

Spoon into the souffle cups, filling them shy of the rim but at least ¾’s full. Run your finger around the inside of the dish to create a narrow moat. Remove baking sheet from oven and put souffles on top.

Bake until puffed and risen, but still soft inside (about 12-15 minutes). Dust with cocoa or powdered sugar.

Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days, uncooked.

Garnish: Cut a paper heart, place over baked souffle, dust with powdered sugar, and leave the impression of a heart on the top.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 29, 2023 at 9:12 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Did you hear the joke about the souffle? I’d share, but it falls a little flat.

Posted by Fred Harris, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on May 29, 2023 at 10:38 am

Fred Harris is a registered user.

I suspect that there was some airbrushing done on the Martha Stewart SI pictorial, no different than on Playboy with younger models.

As one gets older, everything begins to sag because the connective tissues weaken.

Case in point...two years ago while taking a bath I noticed that my two 'boys' were floating along the surface of the bathwater.

Posted by Madison Wheatley, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 29, 2023 at 12:32 pm

Madison Wheatley is a registered user.

My grandfather once told me that his descending ballsack could be used as a flotation device in the event he and grandma were on a sinking cruise ship.

Posted by Zach Taylor, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on May 29, 2023 at 3:16 pm

Zach Taylor is a registered user.

Speaking of rising to the occasion, when I was young (about 5), my grandmother used to bake cakes by scratch. She never used Betty Crocker/Duncan Hines cake mixes.

She used to tell me not to jump around the kitchen because the cake would collapse.

Is this the same with a souffle?

Posted by Joel, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 1, 2023 at 9:58 am

Joel is a registered user.

How titillating this conversation is. Don't see a lot of elder men putting their bodies out for "growing gracefully" in the later years. See you at the beaches.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 1, 2023 at 12:32 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

@Zach, my grandmother said the same thing! When the rise of food is a result of fragile air bubbles, it makes sense that anything could influence, whether that be pounding of feet or opening of oven doors and changing air pressure.

Posted by Gerard LaPointe, a resident of another community,
on Jun 3, 2023 at 2:28 pm

Gerard LaPointe is a registered user.

As Cliff Claven of 'Cheers' might add, "It's a little known fact that...."

The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow," "to breathe," "to inflate," or "to puff."

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