I was a nervous wreak because my mother in law was very hard to please. We had just returned from France to America and decided to spend a couple of months at our condo in the Bahamas. Of course I ran around like a crazy chicken without a head to ensure every detail was in place for their visit. My in laws were world travelers and believed in having their comfy French existence when and where ever they wanted and they spared no expense to have it. Needless to say I baked a lot and JP shopped a lot preparing for their arrival.
We were as ready as can be. All necessary ingredients were available and I baked bread like it was going out of style. They arrived late in the evening and after supper, we all crashed into bed. I had gotten up extra early to make the madeleines. I wanted them to be “parfait”.
As JP and I sat looking out at the water, watching the sun rise, my belle-mère came out onto the veranda with a cup of coffee in one hand and a half eaten madeleine in the other. She was speaking quickly and scowling. I sat there frozen, unsure that I understood her correctly. My French was okay but I still needed help with translations and she was making funny faces as she spoke. JP smiled and said reassuringly that she loved them. But how did he make them so much like his grandmother’s. JP explained that the madeleines were my specialty and he could take no credit whatsoever. She hugged me long, with only compliments of feeling so much at home and having such delicious treats that take her back to her maman’s kitchen. It was her favorite. Needless to say everything was smooth sailing after that; their first morning with us was perfect and if there were any doubts about my fitting into the family, they all went off into the sunshine.
Please see the link below for a great tried and true recipe for madeleines. The cook has an enduring story behind her love of this marvelous scalloped cookie.