Sharing - Part I (Mehrak's Crème A La Vanille)

by Marjan

This post is more of a vent session! Not to worry, there is a recipe to come sure to blow you away. Please indulge my vent and then celebrate with a recipe for the easiest, best tasting dessert you will ever make: Crème a la vanille!

One of the reasons Anja, Shirley, Sun and I decided to have our own blog was to not only share with one another, but also to all our readers our favorite recipes, recommendations and stories of food, restaurants, travels, and eating. The joy of sharing our recipes is equal to experiencing the flavors of our recommended dishes.

So why then do certain people refuse to share their recipes? Worst yet, they give you the requested recipe but omit an ingredient or step? Do you know anyone like that?

Recently in my office, one of my patients made a tray of her favorite cookies, rum balls, and pecan pralines. The entire office celebrated the joy of eating her creations with cheer. Warmed with gratitude, one of my assistants asked her for the recipe. My patient simply replied ‘No’! There was ‘No’ explanation or apology for not sharing. My patient’s refusal to share her recipe was so harsh; my assistant was embarrassed for asking and was left disappointed and sad.

In my family, we have a matriarch member who shares her recipes, but omits an ingredient or two and even important steps. Never fails! Whenever my mother and I ask for her recipe, we get a vague, murky, direction. Thinking I am a good enough cook to use what little bit of information that is given to me to emulate her recipe, I venture into my pantry and cook my heart out. Sure enough, my dish falls flat and disappoints me for I failed to achieve that same experience in my prepared dish. I am left feeling disappointed, and hate to admit, hurt.


This vent has a happy ending: for the few who refuse to bring joy to other’s palate, I can give you multitude of others I know who delightfully share their recipes. For example, consider all the TV shows and blogs who generously share! That is what cooking and eating is all about: sharing your love with everyone. Good Karma!

Thank you for allowing me to vent. Ahhhhh…I feel better.

Now, time for an inspirational story: Sharing, Part I, Mehrak’s Crème a la Vanille.

Many years ago, one of my good friends, Mehrak, sprung a lavish party for her husband’s 40th birthday. She prepared her recipe for Crème a la Vanille. Those who know me will confirm I gravitate more towards savory dishes vs. desert; however, her desert was so decadent, light, and delicious, I went back for seconds! Months later when our group of friends went to Whistler to ski, lodge, and feast, I felt comfortable to ask Mehrak for her recipe for Crème a la Vanille. Without a second’s hesitation, she grabbed a pen and paper and graciously shared with me her recipe. Her directions were exact, easy to follow and accurate. To this day, every time I prepare her recipe, not only do I send her blessings with a heart filled with gratitude, but I share Mehrak’s act of kindness; and when I am asked for the recipe, I make sure Mehrak gets all the credit.

So of course, I want to share with you her recipe. Believe me when I tell you that it will be the biggest hit for desert at any party and you will be asked for the recipe. I hope Mehrak’s generous spirit and recipe will inspire you to love, eat, and share.

Mehrak’s Crème a la Vanille
(serves 8-10)

2 cups cream
2 cups sour cream-room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Knox gelatin
1 packet frozen raspberries (thawed prior to serving)

Mix cream, sugar, and gelatin in a sauce pan. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then heat over medium low heat until dissolved. DO NOT BOIL. Cool to lukewarm. Add into a mold, cover and place in the fridge for 4 house or overnight. Prior to serving, unmold by placing pan in lukewarm water bath; turn upside down in serving platter. Spoon berries on top; garnish with mint leaves.


From our partner: LO+JUNE

From our partner: LO+JUNE
Artisanal French products in our Swiss fine food boutique