Greetings from Chilly Texas
Where everything is finally MELTING. Plus, madeleines.
Howdy cookbook fans!
WELL. Apologies for going dark but it’s been quite a week here in Texas. You may have heard? I had this newsletter half put together to send Tuesday. Here’s the intro I wrote then:
We got about 7 inches of snow Sunday night and it has continued to be just bitterly, punishingly cold. A good chunk of Austin is currently without power. With temps dipping into the single digits and Texas houses just not equipped to handle this much cold (I’ve lived in houses in Austin that weren’t insulated), it’s a scary situation for a lot of people. We’ve got power because we’re close to a substation, which feels like such absurdly random luck.
Since then, we lost power for about 18 hours (it’s back now), which meant the heater didn’t work on the coldest night of this whole spell. I have friends who lost power for upwards of four days and had to go stay with friends and family, who then subsequently also lost power. No one I know has proper running water currently; we were totally out for three days and then this morning the faucets started dripping. And everyone I’ve talked to keeps saying the same thing: we’re the lucky ones, we didn’t have it so bad.
Texas is hurting, and if you have the means, please consider donating to one of the following:
Sueños Sin Fronteras venmo: @suenossinfronteras
Funky Town Fridge (Fort Worth)
North Texas Rural Resistance venmo: @NTRR4yall
Colonia Frontera (RGV)
And just a giant doc of ways to help Texans (and ways to get help should you need it!)
If that seems like a lot, that’s because it’s a lot! A lot a lot a lot of people are deep in it right now. Every little bit helps.
Okay, today, a short one, to clear out my links backlog mostly. At the end, a recipe for something cozy and simple and sweet, from the gorgeous How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory. I hope you are safe and warm wherever you may be.
Above: Reese Witherspoon has launched something called Eat the Book that is somehow not a cookbook club, but rather cooking recipes themed around books. Okay! [Insta via Lainey Gossip]
“She traveled the world and was as interested in a campfire stew as she was in a royal repast. She traveled nearly 50,000 miles every year during her newspaper years. By the 1960s, she had literally been everywhere, including to the bottom of the sea in a nuclear submarine.” A nice little feature on 20th century cookbook author Clementine Paddleford. [The Mercury]
Toronto cookbook authors on their favorite hot sauces. [Toronto Star]
Just a very charming story about Washington state “Pie Lady” Jeanie Hyer’s self-published cookbook. [Spokesman-Review]
Exploring (deep breath) Mrs. Esther Levy’s Jewish Cookery Book on Principles of Economy Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers With Medical Recipes and Other Valuable Information Relative to Housekeeping and Domestic Management and Being the First Jewish Cookbook Published in America as Published in Philadelphia, 1871. [Eater]
I was JUST on Twitter asking for bistro cookbook recommendations, and here comes the Independent with their list of the best French cookbooks.
Cookbook review: Chefs at Home. [Big Hospitality]
Alicia Kennedy talked recipes in her newsletter this week. [FtDoAK]
3 cookbooks to help you survive a zombie apocalypse. [Fan Sided]
Manuka Honey Madeleines
Recipe excerpted with permission from How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory, published by Hardie Grant Books February 2021.
I’ve been experimenting with taking processed sugar out of some of my recipes and replacing it with more natural alternatives, such as honey and malt syrups. This is one of the recipes that adapted exceptionally well to honey, and I love the flavour the madeleines get from intense ones such as manuka and leatherwood. For me, these cakes are best served straight from the oven. They don’t benefit from being kept for too long!
Makes 24 madeleines
170 g (6 oz) butter, plus some for brushing the metal mould
185 g (6½ oz) manuka or leatherwood honey, or other honey as preferred
160 g (5½ oz) plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon baking powder
soured cream and apricot jam, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt the butter and let cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and honey until light and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients, then add them to the egg mix and fold by hand. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, gently fold in the cooled melted butter. Chill in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes. To make the jam, take the seeds out of the apricots, then roughly dice them.
Combine with the water and honey in a saucepan and cook on a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until a jammy consistency is reached.
Butter a madeleine mould with a pastry brush. I use a 12-cake non-stick metal one; the old copper madeleine moulds are amazing, but I would grease and flour them first. Fill each indentation half full and bake for 10 minutes. They should be set and golden, with minimal colour on top and light brown underneath. Serve immediately with soured cream and jam.
Okay! Next week, fingers crossed, will be a normal week! Knock on wood, salt over the shoulder, turn around and spit! See Tuesday folks Tuesday, see Friday folks a week from today with as many book deals as I can possibly knock out in one email. Have a good weekend.