Monday, November 26, 2007

Blog Recipe Filching: Tartelette

I am not really one to try recipes from magazines and articles. It’s not that I never have... but they photograph so beautifully, and are so frequently disappointing, overseasoned, underflavored, something. I invariably felt like Goldilocks: nothing ever seemed just right. And I harbored resentful suspicions about… well, I don’t really know what (I think, though, that it may be normal to harbor resentful suspicions when you actually follow the directions and something still turns out badly). For whatever reason, I just can’t get into it. Also, by the time I decide I want to try something, I've usually recycled the magazine.

And yet, with food blogs, I have less reservations about trying the recipes. Perhaps it’s because it seems that even those bloggers who are professionals (say, Tartelette, Figs Olives Wine, the Pie Lady) are blogging for fun. They’re blogging about what they’re noodling around with in their kitchen. The photos are their own, the kitchen is their own, there are normal constraints of space and time, and sometimes, a lack of will to cook. They don’t fawn over themselves, because, well, that would be silly.

What it’s led me to is regular recipe filching from other blogs.

And that’s a good thing.

Last week we tried the Cornish pasties, courtesy of the Great Big Vegetable Challenge. As it happens, one of my sisters decided they sounded pretty good, and she tried the recipe this past weekend. She, too, gave Charlotte’s recipe the thumbs up.

This week: chocolate madeleines, with many, many thanks to Tartelette. Tonight Seattle is a damp, bone-chilling thirty-nine degrees (which I know, isn't technically that cold, but that clammy chill sinks right in), with wind and pelting rain. It’s a nasty late fall evening, but the whole house smells like toasty chocolate, all cozy and snug.
The madeleines were superb, and easy. I’ve never made madeleines. Perhaps because Proust rhapsodized so much about them, I just assumed that madeleines were a pain. Proust was a pain (okay, reading Proust is a pain, and I keep trying every now and then, but I have never, ever made it out of Swann’s Way and into book two), therefore, madeleines are a nuisance. Perhaps not the soundest logic, but… well, you can see where I’m coming from, can’t you? I just assumed that he would pick the most pain-in-the-ass pastry ev-ah to reminisce about. However... (don’t worry, I’m not going to say they’re a “snap!”), madeleines are pretty easy. And I am intimidated by anything that involves batter or dough, so I'm not kidding when I say it's pretty easy. It’s the first recipe I’ve tried of Tartelette’s because her blog, although I enjoy reading it immensely, intimidates the hell out of me (seriously, check this out. Scroll down to the picture of the fruit rosette. Intimidated? Impressed? I’m both.). I’ll be looking to try more of her recipes after the madeleines. Did I mention the madeleines were delicious? I told the children I would pack them each one in their lunch tomorrow if they behave. And they have behaved like angels. Heh.

We have a couple of candidates for the next bit of blog recipe filching. I think that there may be something wrong with me if I don’t try a recipe from the Pie Lady. And her apple quince pie looks deeply alluring. David Lebovitz has a recipe for salmon rillettes that looks like it could be a holiday staple. Lobstersquad almost always has something interesting kicking around. The list, well, it goes on. And on. And on. There are more good food blogs than can really be read. However, since I have a quince sitting on my countertop (but only one, so we may be adapting to a galette or somesuch) I have a suspicion about what blog the next front runner might come from.


Great Big Veg Challenge said...

Thank you for trying out our Cornish Pastie recipe and I am so pleased it worked well for you. Cornish pasties are good for clammy cold evenings too!
I am inspired to try out these madelines too.

Meg said...

I scorched them a tiny bit (our oven is a a bit mercurial, literally and figuratively), but they were great. And it was comical how well the prospect of a madeleine packed into lunch brought end-of-day crabbiness to a screeching halt.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Thanks for the shout out! Your site's looking fantastic. Don't you just love those Cornish Pasties? Charlotte at Great Big Veg really knows her stuff.

Meg said...

I enjoy your blog. Thanks for the compliment. The Cornish pasties are going to be made again; the payoff to effort ratio was very satisfying. I thought taking her kids to a pasty maker was a terrific idea to excite them about what they eat. You may be up for some more blog recipe filching; I've been eyeing the lemony baked potatoes you posted about.