A Friend Named Madeleine

Friends. Are. Awesome.

Let’s think about this for a bit. Humans need company. We travel in packs. We work in teams. We create our own families so we don’t need to be alone.

My friends are awesome. They let me jump up and down on the spot without looking weirdly at me. They let me laugh at my own jokes even if no one else is laughing. They let me fatten them up with baked goods. They let me run around in circles if it makes me happy. They laugh at me when I fail at Buffalo (a drinking game where you’re only allowed to drink with your non-dominant hand. If you get caught breaking this rule, you scull that drink down fast). They drive me to brunch. They drive me to lunch. They drive me to Sorrento. They turn up to impromptu dinners. Most of all they make me happy and they let me make them happy too.

Good friends are the salt of the earth. I don’t really know what this phrase means. Maybe something along the lines of they are essential to our health. They lift us up where we belong. All we need is friends.

I’ve started to read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It makes me want to spend as much time as I have on this earth as possible with the people I love most. This past year we lost one of the good ones. We all miss him in our own way, but for me it has reinforced the idea that we need to live life without regrets, not just until the day we die but up until the day we lose our friends too.

My new goal is to be able to look back at life, at any given time, and be able to pull out a memory of spending time with my family and friends that makes me smile. I guess this is where I want to take this blog too. A collection of stories and experiences I’ve had with the people I love. All accompanied by food made with happiness for the people I am grateful for.

Love, Jen.

PS. These pictures are a few happy snaps from my 21st at Fitzroy Lawn Bowls. It was a perfect day filled with perfect memories and perfect friends full of laughter and cider.

Recipe: Madeleines

These madeleines are a little bit more difficult to make than regular cookies, but they are worth the extra patience. They also taste better if you sing the theme song from the cartoon “Madeline” while you make them. Just saying.

Recipe adapted from here
Makes 24 large madeleines

2 eggs
¾ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup plain flour, sifted
185g unsalted butter, clarified

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan forced). Grease the madeleine tin and dust it lightly with flour.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water until the mixture is thick, and mousse-like. Remove the bowl from the heat, wipe the bowl dry on the outside and continue to whisk until the mixture cools down.

Fold in the flour and lemon zest gently until combined. Add the butter and mix until just blended together, avoid over working the batter as it may make your madeleines tough.

Spoon one tablespoon of mixture into each mould. Bake them for about 8 minutes or until the madeleines are a sunny gold. Stand them in the trays for 1 – 2 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Notes: to clarify butter, melt it over very low heat. The sediments should stay at the bottom and the clear butter should form a layer at the top. Pour the clear layer slowly into another bowl leaving the sediments behind. Leave to cool slightly.

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