Charity Shop Vintage Finds, Granny Chic, Sewing and Baking with Giddy Aunt Lola

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Madeleines and Mermaids

Sunday Afternoon Tease

These little cakes are buttery bites with a literary reference.  Marcel Proust wrote about his experience of eating Madeleines and how eating them brought back an involuntary memory of having tea with his aunt.

For me, fruit cake reminds me of visits from my grandmother (Nanny).  She was from a generation that wouldn't leave the house without a headscarf on and always brought a cake and a bunch of home grown flowers wrapped in newspaper when she visited.   Sweet peas, dahlias or sweet williams.   I loved my grandparents house in the country and vividly remember brushing my hands over the fruit bushes outside the back door when I was a little girl.  The heady scent of blackcurrant bushes takes me back to their house and the walk-in larder filled with things that were home made and not out of packets.  It's sad that I used to dread  kissing her powdery cheek when she visited; I wish I had known her better.   

The intense smell of tomato vines is reminiscent of my grandfather's greenhouse and I always inhale deeply when I pinch out the side shoots of the tomato plants and smell the pungent scent on my hands.  

There is an instant feel good factor when you walk into a house to the aroma of recently baked cake.  I would go as far as to say it is good for the soul and probably medicinal.  

I love the shell shaped tins that French Madeleine's are baked in; perhaps mermaids snack on these little cakes as they sit on rocks looking out across the channel?

What smells evoke strong memories for you?  


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