on the menu: Proust and madeleines

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I asked for a madeleine pan for Christmas.

Because, you know, Proust.

I defy you to read the opening chapters of Vol. 1 of In Search of Lost Time and not want a madeleine. Even or especially if, like me, you’ve never had one before.

They tend to be expensive to buy, so: literary baking! Turns out they are a bit laborious to make*, so I see why the expense. It also turns out that they are wonderful; a satisfying, delicate crunch of resistance yielding to a soft, lemon cake.

I’m amiably disposed toward them for turning out well on the first try. Curious to try some alternate flavors now, in which the butter is infused with earl grey tea or lavender buds.

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I think the lesson here is, Proust does not disappoint.

*recipe from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

N.B. This is what happens if you overfill the molds. I dread to think what happens if you don’t sufficiently butter and flour the pan.

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reading: Naipaul, Shikibu, Hemingway…

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The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu (a seriously ongoing project)

Bringing up Bébé, Pamela Druckerman (fascinating…theorize that my heart is French, more on this later)

A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway (is it me or is there something unbearable about Hemingway after a few minutes?)

A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul (so funny, so good)

Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett (better late than never)