This is an entry for Autumn 2009 Novel Food.
I'm working on a series about food in
Haruki Murakami's novels. I talked about Creta
Kano in my posting on baklava.
Here we meet Creta Kano for the first time in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
She has come as a representative of her sister Malta.
Malta has been engaged by Mrs. Okada to find their cat.
The narrator is Mr. Okada aka Mr. Wind-up Bird.
So this was Creta Kano. I showed her in, had her sit on the sofa,
warmed the coffe, and served her a cup. Had she eaten lunch yet?
I asked. She looked hungry to me. No, she said, she had not eaten.
"But don't bother about me," she hastened to add. "I don't eat
much of anyting for lunch.
"Are you sure?" I asked. "It's nothing for me to fix a sandwich.
Don't stand on ceremony. I make snacks and things
all the time. It's no trouble at all."
She responded with little shakes of the head. "It's very
kind of you to offer, but I'm fine, really. Don't bother.
A cup of coffee is more than enough."
Still, I brought out a plate of cookies just in case. Creta
Kano ate four of them with obvious pleasure. I ate two and
drank my coffee.
She seemed somewhat more relaxed after the cookies and coffee.
So here we lay out the coffee and cookies for Creta.
They're really cakes but that's OK. They are made
with honey which as we know Creta loves.
Naturally I bring out the Havilland china for Creta.
After she tells her long story she vanishes.
This recipe is from French Tea - The Pleasures of the Table by Carole Manchester.
Madeleines au Miel
3 large egg whites
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat the over to 400F. Butter two madeleine tins.
(I used a silicone madeleine mold. I have bad luck
getting madeleines out of their mold.)
In a bowl, beat egg whites till they hold soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar, and beat until the whites hold
still peaks. Alternately fold in the flour and almonds in
2 or 3 additions. In a small bowl, combine the honey and
melted butter. Gently fold the misture into the whites until
thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the batter into the madeleine
molds, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for
8 to 10 minutes, or until the madeleins are golden at the
edges. (Mine came out too dark.) Let cool in the pan for
5 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool.