I suppose I can't pinpoint the exact moment I became an adult, but it may have been around the time I starting buying gifts with my own money instead of my parents'.
Unfortunately, I've never been a creative gift-giver. I'm stymied by the available options, and insecure in my own taste. When I lived in Eritrea, it was easy: someone invited you over, you gave them sugar. Done.
Now it's different. People in my life are constantly giving gifts, thereby upping the ante. My neighbors, for one, give me food -- radishes from their gardens, entire meals of rib-eye and mashed potatoes, and once, even, steaks of freshly caught salmon from an Alaskan fishing expedition.
(And get this: I was traveling on the first night of Passover this year, and the next morning my friend Lisa actually dropped off a bowl of chopped liver at my house. I mean, that's friendship.)
A few weeks ago my husband's colleague Sarah came over for an hour. Just a quick visit, but she brought 2 offerings from the Bonny Doon winery: a bottle of Bouteille Call (cause the name cracked her up) and a bottle of framboise, a raspberry dessert wine.
Had I done anything to deserve these offerings? Negative. But I accepted them graciously.
We drank one bottle later that night.
The other became dessert.
Recipe for White Raspberry Sabayon
A sabayon is a light, foamy custard made from yolks, sugar, and, traditionally, a fortified wine. I topped it with white raspberries here because I had them, but you could absolutely substitute red ones instead. Also be aware that this dessert is very, very sweet. If you think this will bother you, fold in extra whipped cream or substitute a little prosecco for some of the framboise.
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup raspberry wine (framboise), or a combination of framboise and prosecco or other sparkling wine
1/4 cup sugar
a few drops of lemon juice, optional
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 baskets white raspberries
Makes 6 servings
Fill a large bowl with ice water. This will be your ice bath. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer. In a large metal bowl, whisk together the yolks, wine, and sugar. Set over the simmering water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Immediately begin whisking.
Continue whisking, nearly constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is light and very thick. (Mine reached about 122 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, though some recipes tell you to go much higher.) Taste it, adding a few drops of lemon juice to offset the sweetness, if desired.
Immediately plunge the metal bowl into the ice bath, continuing to whisk for a minute or two longer or until the sabayon cools.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the sabayon.
Divide the mixture into 6 glasses or serving dishes. Top with raspberries.