Each day, for the last week, it has rained. The dogs have been restless when they're awake, but sleep most of the day away. Their muddy paws mark the base boards, the tiled kitchen, and, occasionally, the armchairs. We let them on the bed, we let them sleep at our feet. We give them what they want because we can't give them fresh air, warmth, the sun.
We were busy this week. Photoshoots and cakes and flea market paintings. We ate lunch with Nolan's parents and bought curtains. We took a bath together and then fell asleep on the couch. I feed the chickens four times a day and called my dad to say they were growing. I remembered my uncle on Memorial Day. My brother asked me to be his son's godfather. I found five dollars in the washing machine.
Rain. Like a slow throb in the back of my eyes, I felt tired. Nolan sneezed in the sunlight and I took a puff from his cigarette with my coffee. My body shivering, my eyes still tired, we were up at six most mornings this week. And by three we were tired and by five we were exhausted. And so, this weekend, I wanted to make it special. Something to look forward to mid-day.
I brewed some tea, I baked some cakes. Nolan licked the spatula and squeezed the lemon over the still-warm bakes. We snacked, candles light and a window open, and warmed our hands on the china my mother gave us. A moment when beauty was small but worthwhile, like the steam that rises off the ground and the deer prints are still fresh in mud.
The recipe I used was adapted from the previous madeleine recipe, here. You will, of course, need this beautiful bundt charm pan from Nordicware, which will (honestly) change your tea party game for LIFE. What made me most nervous was greasing the pan, so I went with a little bit of melted shortening then a light dusting of flour and it was perfect.
If you do NOT have a charm pan (which I suggest you get), you can use a muffin tin, but just add about 1/3 of the way up and add a 2 minutes to the baking time.
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 TB unsalted butter, melted
- 2 TB lemon zest
- Juice of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 400*F
- Prepare your pan
- In a mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla, and zest vigorously until foamy
- Add egg mix to flour and stir
- Finally, add melted butter and fold with a rubber spatula.
- Fill about 3/4 of the way up, using a spoon to control the amount better, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden and puffed
- Immediately turn out and allow to cool. When still warm, squeeze lemon juice over your cakes
- Enjoy with a warm cup of tea. Remaining cakes can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days (or frozen forever!)
A special thanks to Nordic Ware for sponsoring this post. Nordic Ware has been producing quality kitchenware products in their 70 years and are now one of America's most beloved and iconic brands. Today, Nordic Ware manufactures the vast majority of its products in America, at our Minneapolis headquarters, including cookware, bakeware, grillware, microwave, and kitchen gadgets and accessories.For more information or products, check out their website! I highly recommend buying the charm pan mentioned above, as it is just so cute! With its gold finish, its heavy cast aluminum and its 6 unique charm shapes, it will be a staple in your kitchen for years to come!