It was their midweek movie night. A ritual she and he have been following for many months now. They would finish their dinner, do all the chores for the day, curl up in bed and click a movie on. Tonight it was Hachiko: A Dog’s Story.
They laughed while they watched. She giggled each time Professor Parker Wilson’s Akita puppy refused to fetch ball. His heart warmed at the story of a special bond between a dog and his master. And melted when he saw tears roll down her eyes.
He stroked her hair when she wept, watching Hachi wait at the station for his companion, who’d never come back…
They walked up to the balcony in silence. The late night air was not nippy enough for their warm hearts and her hot, pug-nose. Since she was a child, her nose always got hot at the tip when she cried a lot. She never knew why!
They sat on the balcony talking about their own pets. He had Sultan, Moshi and Kaya. She, Jimmy, Gittu, Doogie and Miss Webby. He told him once again how Kaya, his Cocker Spaniel would rest her snout on his neck and sleep. She chirped (for the upteempth time) about how she would put the German Spitz twins Doogie and Webby in her t-shirt and roam around. They continued talking about their own doggy memories…
The light from the receding traffic fell on their faces, revealing the glint in their eyes. That’s when he abruptly said- let’s never get a dog. And she nodded in silence. Too scared to go through the pain and loss both him and her had gone through in their past.
He squeezed her hand and went in to get the Caramel Custard she had made earlier that evening. Maybe that could act as a picker upper, he thought.
The Caramel Custard was still warm. The familiar taste of the amber-colored caramel caressed their taste buds, helping them to loosen up a bit. The jiggle-y custard underneath was the perfect soul soother, these two dog lovers so needed tonight…
Ingredients for Caramel Custard are:
3 cups milk
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter (unsalted)
Pre-heat oven to 325° C.
Boil milk still scalding hot. Caramelize one-fourth cup of the sugar in a saucepan till you get a nice amber color. Line the ramekins with butter. Pour the caramel immediately into the ramekins to coat the base evenly.
Pour the milk and egg mixture into the caramel-lined ramekins. (Use any other baking dish if you don’t have ramekins.)
Keep all the ramekins in a larger baking dish. Pour hot water into the dish to cover three-fourths of the ramekins. Bake for 45 minutes. Poke a small skewer at the center of the custard. If it comes out clean, the Caramel Custard is done.
Slide a knife around the edge of the custard, invert on a clean plate and serve.