Does your mouth ever work faster than your brain? The words cause “a stir”. Too late to take them back the inevitable pain and confusion is regrettable. It takes courage to own the wrong and recognize the only appropriate response: “I’m sorry”. Addressing someone who is in mourning is always difficult. The right words are often hard to come by. The truth is there is nothing you can say to make the bereaved person feel better. When in doubt about what to say a simple, heartfelt, “I’m sorry” is all that’s needed along with the touch of a hand or a hug….make that a big bear hug, please!
Here are a few examples of WHAT NOT TO SAY. These cliches can do more harm than good.
- He’s in a better place (nope–alive and well next to me is a much better place)
- Heaven needed an angel (nope–I need him/her here)
- Be brave (nope–I need to experience this pain if I am ever going to be normal again)
- God has a plan (nope–we had plans, too)
Here is more food for thought. Madeleines. Don’t call them cookies. In certain company you will regret calling them that as they really are a little bite of heavenly buttery cake. They can be sweet or savory. Lemons are very inexpensive this time of year and a sure sign of spring. A staple in my kitchen, lemon is one of my favorite flavors. Fresh and tart it adds balance to any dish and wakes up your taste buds. Next time you want to comfort someone set out a plate of these lemon thyme madeleines. You won’t have to say a word.
[recipe title=”Lemon Thyme Madeleines” servings=”3 to 4 dozen small or 2 dozen large”]
½ cup cake flour*
¼ teaspoon salt (use fine sea salt or table salt not kosher salt)
1/8-teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Grated zest of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Heat oven 375F. Spray the molds of a 12 to 20-piece madeleine pan with no-stick baking spray. In small bowl, whisk flour, salt and cream of tartar; set aside. In food processor, pulse sugar, thyme and zest until uniform. In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add sugar mixture; blend well. Add eggs and lemon juice: blend well. Add flour mixture; mix just until blended. Spoon batter into molds until even with rims. Tap pan a few times to level the batter. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for small madeleines (10 to 12 minutes for larger ones) or until edges are just golden brown and cakes feel firm when touched with the tip of your finger. Immediately invert madeleines on to a cooling rack. Cool pan before repeating with remaining batter. Cool madeleines completely before dusting with powdered sugar.
* To make cake flour: measure out ½ cup of all purpose flour then remove 1 tablespoon of flour from that half cup and return it to the flour sack. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to your measured flour, whisk and presto you now have cake flour.[/recipe]