Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Almond and lemon madeleines with a touch of buckwheat

24 October 2013

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Moving is like a big gust of wind, it shakes things up and clears the air. I’ve always loved that feeling. Thomas likes to tell how I warned him, when I met him, that I didn’t mean to stay in Berlin forever, I was planning to move around. Indeed just a few weeks after our wedding we left for New York. And we got stuck. It happens, apparently.

For many years Berlin remained the city to which we would undoubtedly return. But gradually, imperceptibly, the feeling dissipated, and New York became home. A bit by default, perhaps, though in time it was hard to envisage any other. It happens, evidently.

As our lives became ever more settled, known, easy, the itch for change was more efficiently tempered by the comfort of friends and habit. It required a bit of a leap, or a gentle nudge. The opportunity had to be seized.

Moving is liberating. Liberating from the grip of a pounding, neurotic, fabulous city constantly vying for attention. I always thought the most fascinating thing about New York is its versatility, a place where anyone can find a place and live life singularly. What I didn’t realize was how much the city, with its endless offerings and possibilities, plays a role. New York isn’t just the setting, it is a main character. It’s what makes it so hard to leave, like breaking off a relationship. And New York is the jealous type.

So I made madeleines. I had no Proustian connection but they’ve found a place right where the happy look ahead chases a little heartache. They are not traditional and exactly how I like them.

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From David Lebovitz‘ classic lemon madeleines with just a few substitutions. Makes about 24 madeleines.

Note: Plan ahead as the dough must rest at least one hour. I did use baking powder though there is none in traditional madeleine recipes. Next time I might try without. Resting the dough is crucial for the little humps to form, particularly if the baking powder is omitted.

120 g butter plus a little more (about a tablespoon) for the molds

3 large eggs

130g sugar

Generous pinch of salt

100 g white flour

30 g buckwheat flour

1 tsp baking powder (optional)

45 g almond flour

Melt the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Brush the madeleine molds with melted butter, sprinkle a little flour, and tap off excess. Place the dusted molds in the refrigerator.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt for a good 5 minutes until very frothy.

Sift together the white flour, buckwheat flour, and baking powder (if using) into the batter and fold gently with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the almond flour. Do not overmix.

Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter. Add the butter to the batter a few spoonfuls at a time, folding carefully, Stop as soon as all the butter is incorporated.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

When ready to bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425° F (120° C) and place the rack in the top third of the oven.

Drop little spoonfuls of batter into each mold, just enough to fill each to 3/4. The batter will be hardened from the refrigerator, so it won’t fill the mold immediately (no need to try to spread it).

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes just until the madeleines start to turn golden. Remove from the oven, let cool a little before removing the madeleines from the molds.

They are best eaten very quickly, but will keep in a glass or metal container for one to two days.

Exciting times. Part III.

17 October 2013

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And here we are!

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Much closer to here, actually

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Unpacking

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Shopping

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Cooking

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Baking

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Eating at home

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And out

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Visiting

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Three children in school!

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On sunny afternoons

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And rainy mornings

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Sitting in a coffee shop (because we still don’t have internet…), writing. Exciting times.

Exciting times. Part II.

16 October 2013

Roscoff, Brittany

The last time I moved across continents I had a three-week-new husband, a few metal trunks, and a couple of suitcases. This time was different. Moving with a full house and three children takes some of the fun out of moving. It dampens the feeling of freedom and endless possibility somewhat. There are schools to contend with, and lots and lots more stuff.

We gave ourselves two weeks to pack up in New York and two weeks in London to get everything sorted and those were four remarkably stressful weeks, but, I have to say, now that all is pretty much settled, in retrospect, it wasn’t all that bad.

Anyway, moving wasn’t going to encroach on our summer vacation, on the contrary, what a perfect opportunity to embark on a giant road trip through Europe. Because, why not?

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First the Eurostar to Brussels to visit family and friends and pick up the children

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Then a long drive to Munich to visit family and idle away the hours, from Biergarten, to park, to lake, to Biergarten

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And off to Italy and beautiful Umbria!

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We climbed up a mountain — Phew.
We lolled by the Adriatic.

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All the while spending time with friends. Old friends we hadn’t seen in much too long. New friends.

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People should get married much more often.

Then a violent drive to Paris, and Thomas eurostarred to London while the children and I continued on to Brittany for the last three weeks of this transitional summer.

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Before moving to London.

Exciting times. Part I.

15 October 2013

Much has happened since June, the last time I published something here, and it was all good. A whirlwind. Busy, very busy. Fun too, sometimes stressful, exciting, beautiful, a little unnerving at times, but all good.

We packed up our life

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How do you say goodbye to the place where you’ve lived for 14 years? Not really.

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We spent time with friends

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We went out

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We may have revisited a coffee shop bench

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We had lunch!

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Oh, New York, you’re not making this any easier…

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One last glimpse and it’s time to go

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Hello London!

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We found a park

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And decided to build our life around it.


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