Sunday, December 2, 2007

Madeleine Pans, Blizzards & Christmas Trees

Vancouver's first Williams & Sonoma store opened on December 1st, so of course we HAD to go. We've been to the one in Seattle, where Bern bounced around from foot to foot much like the boys do at Toys R Us, but now we don't have the inconvenience of trying to smuggle kitchen goods past customs.

It was damn cold when we woke up Saturday morning and there was a snow warning for the afternoon so we were thinking it might not be so busy. Ya, wishful thinking. Ever seen the inside of a bee hive? Imagine that but with well dressed-food savvy shoppers instead of bees. I gathered as much free food as I could hold and found a relatively quiet spot to hunker down in. The busiest area of the store was exactly where Bern wanted to be, but we came out with her Holy Grail of the last few years, madeleine pans.

My madeleine pans, my beautiful madeleine pans, thank you Mr. Williams! Everytime in the past when I've had the chance to find them, they've been non-stick, which I don't really like because they're darker and absorb more heat and your baked goods end up with a dark chewy crust. If they did have the regular pans, there was only one, and I needed at least two. Oh joy! The new Williams & Sonoma store had a whole stack of both kinds, even mini ones! And a big thank you to Heidi Swanson for the madeleine recipe, they were delicious with hot chocolate last night and just as good this morning with coffee for breakfast. The boys loved them! I'm sure they'll love the ones I plan on making next even more. I've heard that Dorie Greenspan's book (there's a spot on my groaning bookshelves reserved for this book), Baking: From My Home to Yours, has a recipe for chocolate glazed chocolate madeleines filled with marshmallow fluff.

Back to me. Then it was off for lunch. Where were the children during all of this, you ask? Nana came down to visit. Yay, Nana! After lunch the threatened snow storm finally decided to make an appearance. The closer we got to home the thicker the snow and stronger the wind became. We'd debated picking the kids up before going to get the tree but decided it would be a lot less stressful to just leave them home and skip the drama.

The pictures don't really capture the horizontally blowing snow.

Then it was back home. Bern asked the kids if they wanted to go out and play in the snow, which was something akin to asking them if they wanted to eat a bowl of sugar. Then, strangely, I found myself out back in the blowing snow by myself. The person whose idea it had been to take the kids out suddenly disappeared. If you look in the window above the kids you can see Nana in the warm house taking pictures. What you can't see is Mommy hiding and laughing at Daddy.

Then it was inside for dinner, madeleine pans in action, and real hot chocolate. Mmm. Pretty good day.

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