Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Corn Madeleines with Sour Cream and Caviar (Page 40)

RECIPE #1242

  • Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010 -- 5pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Helen, Charles, Clara, Corbett, Mary, Allison, Ben S., Marcie, Kendra, Jubin, Watson, Linda, and Bob K.
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made these tiny madeleines as an hors d'oeuvre for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner party last month. I started by making the madeleine batter. I whisked together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and pepper. I added egg, buttermilk, melted butter and chopped corn kernels. I brushed mini-madeleine molds with butter, then spooned some batter into the molds and baked them off. Once the madeleines had cooled I piped sour cream on top of them, and topped some of them with caviar. I left a few of them without caviar, as not everyone loves to eat fish eggs. These madeleines were pretty tasty. I liked the texture of the madeleines themselves -- the corn kernels in them added nice contrast. The caviar gave each bite-sized treat a burst of flavor, but even without the caviar they were good. While I liked this dish and had no serious objections to it, I didn't find myself wanting to eat a lot of these little madeleines. I apparently wasn't alone in this sentiment -- with many other tasty food options, this was one dish that didn't get completely eaten at our party.

The recipe is here.

Only 51 recipes left to go!

A few weeks ago we were driving down the highway and we saw a horrible accident happen. It was snowing and the road was slippery. One car spun 360 degrees and another car slammed into it at highway speed. We were so focused on not hitting anyone or getting hit ourselves by the spinning cars that it didn't occur to us that we should stop until we were well past the accident and couldn't get back to it. So I called 911. They asked for the location of the accident and I described which interstate we were on and the mile marker at which the accident had happened. The dispatcher asked me, "Near (insert some city name I can't remember here)?" I answered, "I don't know. I'm not from around here." He took my name, thanked me for calling, and that was the end of the call. As soon as I hung up I realized I hadn't said which state I was in. Presumably cell phone 911 calls are routed to a dispatcher somewhere close to your current location, but the accident was near the Indiana/Michigan border and the interstate in question goes through both states. I hadn't mentioned that the accident was in Indiana. I felt terrible. I am sure a half a dozen people called 911 and reported that accident, so no doubt the rescue personnel arrived quickly. My concern was that because of my call rescue personnel were also dispatched to that mile marker on the interstate in Michigan, to find nothing there. Who knows what happened, and even if my call had gotten dispatched to Michigan rather than Indiana it would have been an honest mistake on my part. I certainly wasn't trying to send anyone on a wild goose chase. Yet I felt terrible. I spent the remaining hours of the car trip obsessing about how badly I felt. I have been wondering lately if I beat myself up too much about that kind of thing: situations where I have good intentions but end up making a mistake.

More than a decade ago now I dated a really sweet guy. At the time I tried to treat him well, but in retrospect I don't think I was always the best girlfriend. I feel badly about the way things ended between us, and about my half of the relationship in general. And although he has never complained to me about anything that I did, I have long felt like it wasn't my best showing. He and I exchange emails on occasion, maybe once every year or two, but we aren't close any more. A few days ago, though, I got a very nice email from him. The message was a thank-you for the love and support I gave him back then, which he said made his life better. He mentioned some general things he appreciated, but also some specific little things (e.g. I made oyster soup for his grandfather after his grandmother died years ago) which of course I had forgotten. When I read his email my first thought was, "This is really sweet of him. If I were a better person I would send more emails to the people from my past who made my life better." My second thought was, "Maybe I am too hard on myself." And maybe I am. The reality is, I did try hard to be good to him in that relationship, and although I made a lot of mistakes, what he remembers is that I tried hard. Perhaps that is what I should remember too. One of my goals for the new year is to try to cut myself a little slack.

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