On family recipes and finding the right macaroon

Another post from my editor and wife.

My future mother-in-law asked me before I flew to Germany to meet Greg’s family for the first time if there was anything I wouldn’t eat. I drew a blank. Liver and onions, I e-mailed back, only to be assured that wouldn’t be on any menu. A few nights later she served cauliflower and I thought ‘oh, that should’ve gone on the list.’ Then came the white bread stuffing.

Raised by southerners who imparted an appreciation for a good cornbread-and-biscuit stuffing, and nothing else, the white bread variety is just not something I care for, too mushy, too bloody. As I served myself a big helping, my tactful future husband piped up — “Hon, you don’t have to eat that,” adding for good measure, “she hates white bread stuffing.”

I was mortified, but his mother didn’t seem fazed. His family always seems comfortable critiquing recipes, adding notes, making suggestions. His mother swears she doesn’t know how Greg became such a whiz in the kitchen. Sample her flaky pie crusts, watch how long she spends on Sunday dinner or writing out a recipe just so, and it’s easy to see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

While I was eating peanut butter and jelly or bologna sandwiches in the school cafeteria, a few miles down the road he was dunking homemade sourdough into steaming thermoses of minestrone. One of our prized possessions is the green journal she gave him before he went off to college, filled with family recipes and empty pages we’d someday record recipes. It’d go in the car with the dogs if a wildfire were bearing down on the house.

So when she sent her macaroon recipe, I figured it’d be a good one. And it is. But there’s just one little thing… I can’t stomach critiquing it. I’ll leave that to Greg: “These are good, chewy, nice coconut… but still not cakey enough.” In other words, although we’ll “write this in the green book” we still haven’t found a recipe to rival the cookie we stumbled across in Belfast.

Close but still not there

The search goes on. Sorry, mom.

Mom’s Macaroons

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups coconut

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar very slowly while beating. Fold in vanilla, flour and coconut. Drop batter from a spoon onto a greased and floured baking sheet. Bake at 300 for about 20 minutes.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On family recipes and finding the right macaroon

  1. Lisa says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t get back with you in time about the moistness of the resting dough. How did they turn out for you?

  2. Pingback: Mixed berry zabaglione | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  3. Pingback: The (nearly) perfect macaroon | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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