24 May, 2010
Two weeks ago I was in London for what is apparently an annual date. This was a different visit in that I was there for work rather than pleasure; that said, I did stay on for the weekend in order to stay with a potential flatmate for next year. She has a beautiful flat right on the river, with hardwood floors throughout and a kitchen that is big by London standards. I should perhaps be embarrassed by this admission, but I'm not: Our entire Saturday revolved around food. Over dinner on Friday night we had discovered our mutual love of cooking and our fascination with the wordy wonder that is Nigella Lawson. We ate breakfast, went to the grocery store to buy ingredients, came home and baked Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. While that was in the oven, we mixed the batter for pistachio macarons. The cake came out of the oven, and in went the macarons. The macarons finished and cooled, and then we iced and sandwiched them. I washed the dishes -- but it was already time to pull them all out again and cook curry chicken & apple stew for dinner!
These macarons... I am mildly obsessed. One of my favorite indulgences when I am in London is to treat myself to something from Paul. I particularly love the pistachio macarons. Even though this global market has made it possible to enjoy pistachios year-round whether or not that is what God intended, my family still only buys them at Christmas. It is one of those deferrals of pleasure for which I'm actually rather thankful...it is good to believe that there is still something on this earth that belongs to only one season. We know, therefore, that if pistachios are on the table it must be a special event with cherished company.
I've only ever had pistachio macarons from Paul, though...When my friend suggested that we make them, I really didn't know what to expect. Could we live up to my expectations? I had to wait to find out, for we did things the old-fashioned way...AND the metric way. We used a small kitchen scale that is surely over a hundred years old by now. We calculated how many ounces we needed in order to measure out the amount of kilograms Nigella told us we needed. Funnily enough, that did not take us much time as figuring out the modern-day food processor did...Anyway, I will fast-forward to the moment at which we took our first bites. May I be completely cheeky and say that ours tasted even better than Paul's? Well, they did...