56 Comments

  1. Dear Amanda,
    What a wonderful post! It brought tears to my eyes, and reminded me that it has been much too long since I last read Borges. Your memories, the dreamy snowy pictures and the madeleines make it an almost proustian post! I love that you all went to the basement to leave a mark in the house, it is your house after all!
    As to the madeleines, they look delicious, and the characteristic hump is nowadays considered overrated, many famous French pâtissiers no longer care about whether their madeleines have it or not. What counts is how delicious they are, and I am sure yours were perfect!

    • Aw. Thank you, Darya. You are too sweet. Thanks for letting me know that the hump is overrated. I was so afraid to venture into French pastry land because it’s all so careful and delicious. But these I can do!

      • A friend of mine went to a Michelin star restaurant in Paris last year, and they served madeleines with the coffee after the meal, and when she asked for their secret ingredient, they not only told her, but also said that really, “who cares about the hump nowadays”? 🙂

        • And here I was trying to find the best tricks to get those humps! I did it, incidentally, by chilling the batter before baking, and the cakes sure came out with pronounced humps. Of course, mine were just plain ones. These are much fancier and much better-looking. I have no doubt tastier, too! Beautiful post, Amanda, and thank you, Darya, for letting us know that “humps” were so yesterday. 🙂

          • Haha! Totally. Thank you for your comment. My humps were accidental because I let the batter sit for like 5 mins. The second time, almost hump free. Good thing they’re a thing of the past 🙂

  2. A wonderful post and wondrous pics. Any one can write a post but to throw in character and bit of yourself to a scrutinizing world full of strangers, it takes courage and spirit.

    • Thank you so much. That’s such a kind comment. I don’t want to be an oversharer and I don’t want to alienate people who just read for the recipes, but I’ve definitely put myself out there a bit and will suffer the consequences (usually from family). 🙂

  3. These are so wonderful. Surprised by the rosemary. The trouble with these are they as so light that you find you can’t stop at just one. I was sad to read your parents have sold their house but wonderful that you have left your mark for others coming in. In years to come they will wonder whose initials they are and wonder what you look like! I love finding little things like that in old houses. We left a box under the floorboards with little treasures in for future owners to find.

    • Oh what a cool idea, Maria! I like that too. I like to wonder about the people who came before, their hopes, dreams, struggles. That’s cool that you did that. I wonder if they found it. I agree with you about eating too many. I like to add a hint of savory to sweet things, to make them even better!

  4. Your reminiscences remind me of this

    Empty Old Houses

    Empty old houses can talk…
    But one must know how to listen…
    to hear them

    Empty old houses have stories…
    But one must be eager to listen…
    to hear them

    Empty old houses can suffer..
    But one must have empathy …
    To feel it

    Empty old houses can feel pain
    But one must be able to bear it …
    To feel it

    Empty old houses have memories
    But one must believe … that they have…
    To share them

    Empty old houses contain people’s lives
    But one must believe…that they do…
    To share them

    Empty old houses can seem dead and deserted
    But one must know that they’re not..
    To know them

    Empty old houses can teem with life’s pleasures
    But one must walk through
    to sense the aura of life

    Empty old houses abound in life’s treasures
    But one cannot help but…
    To admire them

    by David Whalen

    • Jovina, what a beautiful poem. Thank you so much for that. It’s nice to know that my sentimentality can be seen as a gift, not a flaw. And thanks again for your email yesterday. I love comments from you.

    • Thanks, Conor. I couldn’t find a nice antique mold so I got one at a discount store and I’ll use it as often as I need, but won’t feel beholden to it.

  5. This is by far my most favorite of your posts! One of my favorite authors & French cuisine! Your writing in this post is most inspirational! I’m so impressed!! Thank you for this. post, Amanda!

  6. How brave you are, leave me in a dark basement (and trying to see an aleph) and I’ll freak out! Such beautiful snow scenes. And lovely madeleines, they would be perfect for breakfast. xx

    • I ate them for breakfast. LOL not brave. The lights were on and we were together. When my bro shut the door I was not trying to see the aleph. I was scared and merely kicking and screaming to let me out while the boys were laughing like children. Way to kill the moment bro!

      • Aha, ok, totally see myself reflect there! My brother doesn’t (or hasn’t) done that to me. What he has done is put strange insects in my face, believe me, when we lived in Asia he go some big strange ones. Once he had a false spider stuck on his ceiling, I couldn’t see if it was real or not without my glasses, and had a screaming fit when he was taking it down to show me 🙂

  7. I really enjoyed this post…happy that you left your mark where you had such wonderful memories. Your sweet and savory madeleines sound great. 🙂

  8. Amanda, The photos go very well with the touching goodbye story. I am one of those people, rosemary don’t like. However, I find these Madeleines very delectable even w/o the presence of rosemary. And, boy they look gorgeous!

    • Thank you, Fae. Really, I never would have guessed that you and rosemary don’t get along! You have such an array of flavors, herbs and spices in all of your dishes, both savory and sweet. So interesting. You could just amp up the citrus on these and leave rosemary out. I still want to make your ice dessert! Now that would be perfect for these pics!

  9. Warwick is a winter wonderland! Gorgeous photographs and your madeleines looks delicious. I feel so intimidated to make madeleines, but your post makes me think I just might be able to do it. I think I would love rosemary in them!

    • Thank you. You really should. I was intimidated too, especially because when you research them they seem so delicate and volatile. They really are easy to make and delicious.

  10. Fig & Quince

    What a beautiful and touching story. I love the way you write. I had no idea where you were going with Aleph and then you told the story of the house, which was a home, and I felt my heart contract. The madeleines look wonderful, hump or no hump. And of course with all this chatter about hump, you may get some interesting Google traffic! ha ha.

    As for snow, last year I pined for it this year I’m OVER it! But snow mobiling looks FUN!

    • Lol re traffic from the hump:) Thanks so much for your compliment. Coming crib a great writer like you it means a lot. I didn’t know where I was going either but that a house is a home is a universe to a kid and bears witness to all. Rosemary is my fav and winter sports, especially dangerous ones are a must in Warwick.

  11. These look and sound amazing! Loving the lemon and rosemary- such an interesting and unique take on a classic Madeleine. I’ve got an abundance of fresh Tuscan rosemary in my garden, might try the recipe out. Looks fab! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jess! I’m so jealous that you’ve got fresh rosemary in the garden. Use it up. The recipe is fast and adding a hint of fresh rosemary really makes these so much better!

  12. Yum! These remind me of the rosemary shortbread cookies that I found at a great little store near my house. I was surprised at how well the savory rosemary and sweet shortbread went together. I bet your madeleines are just as wonderful!

    • Thanks so much, Mary Frances! So good to see you here! I think these things have a really short shelf life so I eat them all at once! But yes, the herbs really enhance the flavor.

  13. These look amazing Amanda! Yum. Love herbs in baked goods… I’m really getting into thyme-infused syrups for cake at the moment! Those showy, icy shots are such a contrast to the sunny parched weather we’re getting here at the moment. You write brilliantly, I really enjoyed everything in this post. Thanks for sharing xx

    • Thanks so much, Laura. It’s always nice to hear from you. Thyme-infused syrups for cake… Now you’re speaking my language. I can’t wait to see how you do it. I’ve definitely entered the world of savory sweet, which is a departure from my strictly savory intentions… But it’s so fun. On Feb 26, 2014 7:39 PM, “What's Cooking” wrote:

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