Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have a dealer... there is a guy that comes by my work every few days, he is a quiet guy, he will see me and kind of lean in, pause for a moment while he looks both ways.  "Bryan, I got some new stuff in," he always speaks kind of quietly,  "this batch looks pretty good too."   "When you have a minute meet me over at my regular table."  My conversations with him started very surface and non-committal he told me about some of the jobs that he used to have, some of the things that he has done in his life, The kinds of things that he does now to keep his inventory up.  Then one day he asked if I wanted to try some...

Being adventurous I said "Sure, what da ya got?"  He said that he would drop buy the next day and show me, he had some unusual choices the first time, unusual enough to get me hooked...  the "Ginnie and Geneva Cook Book" based on a series of children's stories and "A food Lovers Companion" a strange collection of food related quotes, poetry, short stories and recipes written in the70s. 

Yes folks, I have a Cook Book Dealer.  He stops by often and brings me some of the stuff that he picks up at estate sales, yard sales and dumpsters, I don't know where he gets them all but know better than to ask.  It seems that his passion is keeping books of all kinds alive so he finds them and donates them to hospitals or leaves them in Doctor's waiting rooms, now I am on his list.  Sometimes the choices are downright bizarre once I picked up a copy of a cook book simply called "Vegetarian Cooking"  a book written half in Mandarin and Half in broken English.  This one has recipes that help you recreate Eel dishes using Mung Beans and Black Mushrooms just in case the idea of giving up Eel was the only thing keeping you from switching to a strict vegetarian diet.  Other times he has come across great finds, one of those was "Savoring Provence," really a coffee table book filled with pictures of rural France along with rustic menus and recipes but once the $36.00 cover price is out of the way (along with the fear of splattering eggs all over the pages) it is a good reference book.

I have had a pan for Madeleines in the back of my cupboard for years, at least the guy at the antique store that I bought it from said it would work.  Miss Lu and I decided to try those for the first time this weekend the recipe (well actually the picture on page 230) got our attention.

Pre-heat oven to 375
5 TSP Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Brown Sugar
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 TBL Honey
1/2 Cup plus 2 TBS Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
Zest from one Orange

In a large bowl beat the butter and both sugars until smooth then add the salt and honey, beat until smooth.  In another bowl mix the Flour and Baking Powder.  Add the eggs one at a time to the butter sugar mixture then the Orange Zest.  Once those are fully incorperated start adding the flour and baking soda slowly and mix well.  Once the batter is mixed grease and flour a Madeleine pan then spoon the batter into the individual molds.   Bake for about 8-9 minutes until they start to brown a little at the edges then take out of the pan to cool and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

How were they? 
The reviews are mixed I liked them, they were sweet without being too much and very light.  Miss Lu said they were "funny," Kris thought the Orange rind was a bit much and Mr. Man ate four of the "little cakes" while he told us they weren't very good.   You can decide yourself.  Oh and the shape of this pan didn't work very well, so I guess I will look for a real Madeleine pan before I give this another try.


  1. Giggling at your "Cookbook Dealer."

    Madelines are a little too dry for me?

  2. I've never seen a madeleine pan like that one! It's really very pretty.
    I experiment with madeleines all the time. I've made chocolate, pine nut and recently made some with pistachio flour. I really like to serve them with a light dessert.
    Sorry yours weren't as big a hit as you would have liked!

  3. That is so cool you have a cookbook dealer--OK I am envious!
    I've never got the art of Madeleines so good on you for trying, I'm such a bad pastry chef, who would of thought I was one for a year!

  4. LOL, if I ever ran into a Cookbook Dealer, I'd watch my wallet empty before my eyes! Drugs- no thanks, but cookbooks, um how can I get some? =)