Sunday, August 29, 2010
A Louse-y Day
I myself am not that jaded. I am much more trusting, believing that it all works out in the end. Every once in awhile though, this comes back to kick me in the you-know-what. Like it did recently.
A friend (we'll call him Mike) who was moving, needed a place to stay for a couple of days until his new apartment was ready. I offered up our terrace level (which is a nice way of saying "basement"). Since he was bringing his two childen (ages 19 months and 9 years) I figured there was plenty of room down there for all of them. It has a lovely large bedroom, a nice bathroom, a television room, a pool table and lots of room for running around. Besides, it meant I got to spend time with the kids, both of whom I like a lot (uh-oh, here comes that grandparent thing again).
They showed up on a Sunday afternoon, the day before what was going to be a crazy Monday for me. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning, Atlanta Magazine was showing up in the afternoon (more about that later) and friends were coming for dinner that night, meaning a lot of cooking had to happen. No problem. Superwoman Liz can do anything!
Until I got a call from Mike around 1pm to tell me his 9-year-old son had to leave school early BECAUSE THEY DISCOVERED HE HAD HEAD LICE!!!!!
Now if you have kids, you've probably experienced this lovely event at some point in time. I'll refrain from the graphic details but suffice it to say you have to pretty much tear your house apart and vacuum or launder everything the kid came in contact with. Remember my telling you in the last post how I have tons and tons of decorative pillows piled on all the beds in this place? That did not serve me well in this instance.
So I canceled dinner with our friends (Emily, Tristin and Charlene, I owe you one) and set upon the cleaning task at hand. At the end of it, I decided I should reward myself with either a cocktail or chocolate. Oh screw that. I had both!
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons, softened for buttering the madeleine molds
3 eggs (I used extra-large)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup good cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed (I used Valhrona)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Brush the madeleine pan well with the 4 tablespoons of softened butter and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs with both sugars until mixture is light and thickened, about 10 minutes, scraping down bowl occasionally. Add the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and stir on low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla and browned butter and mix until just blended.