Thursday, January 31, 2013

Macarons and Memories

I spent this evening trying to figure out what I could do to entertain myself. Finally I landed on trying to make macarons, as it had somehow become a war cry over the last few days on Facebook.
It literally started out as me trying to figure out why "macaroons" were coming up as giant hunks of coconut but I remembered them being these delicate small sandwich-type cookies that I had never seen, but see a LOT of foodie blogs and TV shows and even scented food-shaped erasers dedicated to.
That is because, as a gal who teaches French advised me, I was thinking of "macarons".
Which is an entirely different beast and STILL gluten free. Also mostly cholesterol free, so my husband can have them!
In talking about them and being taunted with pictures, a street artist that I follow on Facebook popped up with a recipe and said "seriously, try these, they are massively easy to do."
So I mentioned I had purchased almond flower during a trip to a new Indian food store that had opened. Same said street artist advised me to go for it.
So I did.
Now, food has been a struggle for me and still is. I discovered this evening that I still don't have my full range of faculties back when it comes to taste. I discovered this, sadly, while enjoying sushi which I have a lot of fond memories about. I also have memories about off-tasting fish, and since it didn't seem quite right, immediately I thought of that. Had enough presence of mind to make it a study in texture, which was fascinating. Rice is still driving me a little batty.
I knew immediately that if I put these cookies together and couldn't taste them that at least for a little while, each time I tried another one I would remember this time when I wasn't well. I hesitated. Drank 3 glasses of wine. Read over the do's and don'ts of macaron baking.
Then I realized I kept telling myself we were living this year with no fear.... a misnomer, as we have already had a lot of fear. We're just not listening to it anymore and letting it stop us from doing things as in days of old.
Cookie making was launched in to immediately, and I know now even if my taste comes back and it changes how these are on my tongue, it will still be a fond memory linked in with the flavor and the smell. I thrilled at making my first ever meringue. When the blender was off, I listened to the sound of the winter rainstorm pounding away at the roof and the kitchen windows with my eyes closed. I stepped over my dog, who was completely intent on being by my side as I was being far more active than the spousal unit... also, there was the potential for dropped food. He was still comforting. The cats even stopped by to see why I kept banging pans on things (hint: trying to get air bubbles out!)
The cookies themselves browned up nicely and smelled amazing. They cracked, every single one, but there was no real ego attached to that. I'd accepted it as likely. And the flavor was amazing, light and airy with a crispy outside and that spongey inside that I now realized was what people kept trying to describe. They weren't pretty, but with a little nutella spread between two and sandwiched together, they were amazing.
Now each time I have a macaron I'm going to remember the rain, the feeling of accomplishment, and the taste of warm vanilla and hazelnut. Proust may have his madelines. I will be happy with my macarons. ^_^

Click here if you feel like it'd be fun to make memories of your own.

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