How to Make Flan

You know what’s weird?

Trying to sleep in crinolines.

You know what else is weird?

Arguing with Ryan the 7th Grader about Griffith’s experiments of bacterial transformation.

Sofia: Isn't it cool, Ryan? The mouse is injected with dead pathogenic encapsulated bacteria, which can't do anything because it is dead, and non-pathogenic non-encapsulated bacteria, which can't do anything because it's non-pathogenic, but together, they're able to kill the mouse, even though they can't do anything by themselves! Isn't that cool, Ryan?!
Ryan: Um, yeah Sofia, NO, that's not cool at all!!

I guess I’m just weird that way. It’s been a weird day. Yesterday I came home from work with a temperature of 103 degrees and a throbbing headache. I’m beginning to have my doubts about the efficacy of flu shots; this is the first year I’ve ever taken one and this is the second flu I’ve contracted.

Yesterday was my official first day on the job. As in, not in orientation anymore. I had to do everything myself. I couldn’t cry to anyone and say, “I don’t know what to do!!! Help meee!!!” No Sofia, you’re on your own. Try not to let anyone die (my job is at the hospital). My plan of action is to keep bringing in homemade food until I’m competent, so that my colleagues like me. Yesterday, I brought flan, which I learned how to make from a random Filipino website I can’t remember the name of. My elder brother used to make “flan” from a Jello mix. Don’t settle for the Jello mix. It’s really easy. The hardest part is getting the hot pan out of the steamer. I use Chinese steamer tongs. I’ve switched up the recipe somewhat. Here is my take:

Leche Flan

10 egg yolks

1/2 c boiling water

1 c dry milk

1 1/3 c sugar

3 T butter

1 c milk

1 t vanilla

1 t salt

Method: To the 1/2 c of boiling water, stir in 3 T butter. Once melted, add dry milk and 2/3 c sugar. Blend it like crazy and let it sit 5 minutes to cool. In the mean time, beat the 10 egg yolks in a bowl and set aside. No, you can’t use 5 whole eggs instead. It just wouldn’t be the same. Whites=protein=tough flan. Save the whites and use them for angel food cake or something. Once the boiled water-butter-dry milk-sugar concoction is done cooling, add egg yolks. Blend well and then add the normal milk and vanilla.

By the way, if you have moral objections to the whole boiled water-butter-dry milk-sugar deal, you can replace it with a 14 oz. can of sweetened, condensed milk. I just do this because I don’t happen to buy sweetened, condensed milk, but we do happen to have boiled water, butter, dry milk, and sugar on hand.

In a small saucepan, cook together 2/3 c of sugar, 1 t salt, and 1 c water on high until mixture starts to carmelize. Continue cooking until almost-but-not-quite burnt, adding water if necessary to keep mixture liquid. Immediately pour into mold. Wait another 5 minutes for this to cool off. In the meantime, get a large pot of water boiling and figure out how you’re planning to steam this thing. My “mold” is a 8 in. cake pan that fits perfectly over the mouth of my stock pot, but if you have a steamer basket, that might work as well.

Pour flan mixture into mold over top of caramel, cover with aluminum foil, then place in steamer and steam 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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