I was prepped and ready to go - I was going to tackle my to do list! I had my recipe photocopied and taped to my kitchen cabinet, all my ingredients ready to go, time blocked off in the morning to tackle the dish, and the resolve of champion fighter with something to prove. All that was left was for me to get the kitchen torch and the ramekin dishes. I felt if I was going to make crème brulee, I was going to do it properly and with the right tools so the kitchen torch was non negotiable for me. With regards to the ramekins, my subsequent downfall, I legitimately didn’t have anything that could act as a substitute in my pantry for them, so they were absolutely required, otherwise I would have to bake the crème brulee in cereal bowls, which would really take away from the whole presentation piece.
So off I quickly went to Williams-Sonoma to pick up the final pieces of my crème brulee puzzle, the kitchen torch and ramekins. I appreciate and understand fully that Williams-Sonoma is overpriced. I accept that walking into the store, and I know that I’m overpaying, but because I like the idea of that store, I don’t mind.
My experience with Williams-Sonoma is this: walk in, get distracted by the cute displays, pretty looking samples and overly helpful salespeople. I buy something I didn’t even know I needed (newsflash, I didn’t need it) and walk out not actually realizing what I've done, like I'm in some sort of fugue state. However when I was at the till paying for four ramekins and a kitchen torch, and the grandma working the register said the total was $181.65, I quickly snapped out of the fugue state and had a rare moment of lucidity in that store. I had to quickly decide - my own Sophie's Choice if you will - ramekins or kitchen torch? How does a mother choose between her children? Although it was difficult, I went with the kitchen torch, rightfully assuming that it would be harder to find that at another store, and parted ways with the ramekins. I scoured the rest of the mall to find a suitable substitution for the ramekins, and nothing. Devastation set in as I realized I would have to put the crème brulee on hold as now I was out of time – I would have to be at work shortly, and my hunt for ramekins would lead me to another mall twenty minutes out of my way to the poor mans Williams Sonoma - Crate & Barrel - to see if they had something that would work. Thankfully, they did, and for far less than $22 each. I will attempt again this weekend, I promise.