The Madeleine Questionnaire

A recent email exchange with my friend Lauren Zalaznick and Gloria, her 90 year old mother, got me thinking about how many wonderful memories and stories revolve around families cooking and eating together. The recent post on this blog, The Story of the Shvartze Skovoroda, is just one example of this. I had asked Lauren if it would be okay to her mom to write a guest post for this blog, and her suggestion was to do a Q&A.

The result of this colloquy is The Madeleine Questionnaire. which you can take below. A madeleine is a shell shaped French cookie. You can find them in lots of places now, including your local Starbucks. The cookie is famous for having set in motion Marcel Proust’s three volume novel, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, commonly translated as Remembrance of Things Past, but more literally In Search of Lost Time. The text is set in motion by the narrator’s childhood sense memory of the petite madeleine’s smell and taste. We got to thinking that many of us have these origin stories, these archetypal moments that mean something to us and help shape us. Let’s give some prompts so that we can get a sense of the richness and variation of these memories.

I invite you to take The Madeleine Questionnaire. I hope that it brings back a flood of good memories for you, including the tastes and smells of your past. If you choose to take the questionnaire, you only have to answer the questions you want to. And, please remember to scroll down to the bottom of the questionnaire and hit Submit, so that your answers are saved.

As the stories are told to us through The Madeleine Questionnaire, we’ll share them with you. Even if you don’t answer any of the questions in writing, maybe you’ll have a few moments where your memories are jogged and you get to recover a taste, a smell, or even a feeling that is from and of your past.

Now that you are thinking about those old memories, grab that recipe card box you inherited. Look through those recipes and see what memories the evoke. If you still have some time left over, add a few to ReciFoto!

‘Role With It

Do you have a casserole? Wait, what is a casserole? It is both the vessel you cook in, typically large and deep and which after cooked is brought to the table from which to serve, and also the contents of the dish. Confusing maybe, but definitely convenient! Once you put the ingredients in the dish, you cook it in the oven, so not much fussing which also makes a casserole convenient.  Casseroles are distinguished from stews by the way they are cooked. Stews typically are cooked on the stove top and casseroles in the oven. Many casserole recipes use convenience ingredients in them, such as canned soups or frozen vegetables.

The convenience of casseroles have made them a perennial favorite in busy households. Looking at the Recifoto database, there are over 400 recipes with casserole in the title.

Here is a sample. We’ll start out with a couple that my mom makes, and we’ll end with the butt of many a situation comedy joke, the tuna casserole!

And today, we’re going to start a new feature, a poll on which recipe you are most likely to make. So be sure to go through the recipes and vote!

Wild Rice Casserole

Spinach Casserole

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole


String Bean Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole

Broccoli Corn Cheesy Casserole

Yum-Yum Casserole

Tuna Casserole

Graham-a-palooza, or Mr. Proust Goes to Nursery School

I saw the first recipe below for Graham Muffins below in the public recipe feed on the ReciFoto app this morning, which led me to do a search on Graham on today.  When I was in nursery school, they would wake you up from nap time by placing a graham cracker on your tummy. As a result, I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for graham crackers and that graham flavor. Perhaps the graham cracker is my petite madeleine, the cookie that set into motion Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.

I’m a little confused by some of the recipes below because they are called graham this or that, but the recipe calls for whole wheat flour. Maybe someone reading this post can clarify that for me.

Here are the recipes resulting from my search, including the “whole wheat graham” recipes:

Do you have any favorite graham recipes? Please share them!

Shared by Maura:

Hi 🙂
Here’s what I found re: Graham flour. I love wiki!