Saturday, September 25, 2010

When grand-ma' cooks

Soon I'll write one story a month! At this rate, nobody will dare take a look. So I'm going back. I have some recipes waiting to be posted as well. The photos are ready, recipes almost written. What am I waiting for?

For the pictures, I found an old illustrated encyclopedia.
Look how they're all tempted by it!

Today I will treat you with a family recipe. Every Christmas, my grandmother prepares a Craquelin. This is not a cake nor a bun nor bread. I really do not know which category to put it in. It has a thick and crunchy crust, crispy on top, but sticky and caramelized below. Its inside is dense, blond and subtly sweet. You can eat it alone, dipped in tea, coffee, chocolate, chicory, or with honey or jam. The great part is that it's big enough to try every possibility.

I let it cook a bit too long, but it was my first time ever.

To me this is the ultimate breakfast on Christmas morning. Everyone gathers around the table while my grandmother cut thick slices. Each year she prepares one per family. This represents hours and hours of work, punctuated by the waiting time to let the dough rise.

I cannot give you the recipe directly, but if you're interested in preparing one, I can send it to you personally.

Detail comes from a portrait by Lord Frederick Leighton, A Roman Lady, 1858-9. I chose this painting because I thought it resembled by grand-mother with its fierce look and jet-black hair.

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