Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Autumn Morning

Lemon Lavender Sables

As the morning breaks
Sleepy eyes pry open
Contemplating the day

Daylight awaits,
The traffic and sounds
Whispers and notions
Hints of commotion

Shades and hues
All waiting for cues
As the day urges to begin

The autumn leaves fall
Evergreens and leaves
All sounding their call

Yearning for beauty
Its beckon so strange,
Waiting and wishing
For something to change

I cannot help but think
That this feeling inside
this longing for something
just cannot abide.

So I give in to you, morning light
Arise and call out its name
You have me by the hand
Lead me wherever you please.

I am in your charge,
Crisp autumn wind,
Blow me to wherever you please.

Sable Dough

Finishing a shift at 7 in the morning at different times comes different sentiments. There are those earnest longings for slumber, just craving to get some much needed shut-eye; and then there are those times, though seldom, that I greet the morning with expectation.You take a huge breath, the new day ahead and somehow it’s yours for the taking. As infrequent as this disposition is to me, I welcome it. I am not always this genial this time in the morning, my nature just doesn’t allow for it, thus I take what I can get.

So I finish work this morning, and due to certain misadventures from the night before- which I wont elaborate on- meant that I didn’t have my car and so needed to catch the train home. Admittedly, I usually hate catching public transport, especially so early in the morning, amidst the peak hour transit; although this time I was actually looking forward to it.

Lemon Lavender Sables

Perhaps it was in quiet veneration of the stillness of the morning, or just something purely out of character, because I am rarely this contemplative so early in the day; but I was eager to make the small detour home. Or perhaps it was the beautiful morning, I don’t know. It's funny how unexpectedly stunning the urban sprawl can sometimes be.

The morning fog was thick, shards of sunlight barely breaching through the misty air. Riding the train through the Harbour Bridge, its imposing iron beams were barely visible, almost as if we were just floating seamlessly though the foggy air. By the time I got to my stop, the fog had already cleared and the gentle warmth of the autumn sun was palpable. What made the journey home even sweeter was coming home to these biscuits.

Lemon Lavender Sables

I had forgotten that I had made them the day before and there they were waiting for me in the cookie jar- these little morsels of Lemon Lavender Sables. Lavender has such a calming effect and after doing a bout of night shifts, I knew that these biscuits were the perfect remedy along with a warm cup of tea. Blossoms are usually associated with springtime, although these biscuits are the perfect things to cosy up to on a mild autumn morning.

Full of flour and butter, these sables fall apart at the touch of your lips. It's the kind of biscuit that you never bite into unless you want a dune of crumbs to form on your lap. Delicate and light, it's hard to stop at just one. So I pry open the cookie jar, the scent of citrusy lavender hitting my nose immediately and there is nothing like it.

Dried Lavender

There is something about these biscuits that remind me of autumn, I cannot quite put my finger on it. This strange enchantment,whatever it is, has me spouting poetry and waxing lyrical about the morning. Really, when do I ever become quite as lyrical? Never. I will probably look back on this, a week later and cringe at the thought at how hospitable I was to the morning, but then again, I take what I can get.

Lavender Sables
adapted from a basic sable recipe from this book
makes 40 sables

Lemon Lavender Sables

225g plain all-purpose flour
25g cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tbsp dried lavender
200g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
100g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt

Sift the flour and cornflour into a food processor and stir in the dried lavender.
Add diced butter and sugar to the flour mixture.
Pulse for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the egg yolks through the spout of the processor, while continuing to pulse the dough.
Make sure you do no over pulse the dough, and that it still should resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Spoon the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and divide into two portions.
Roll each portion out into a log and wrap in parchment paper.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight if possible

Preheat oven to 170°C. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
Remove 1 log from the fridge and cut the dough into 6mm discs.
Briefly knead the dough so that the discs stay together.
Place on baking sheet spaced 1-ince apart and bake for 10-12 minutes until just lightly browned on the edges.
Transfer sables onto a wire rack to cool.
Repeat process with second log.


Anita said...

I love your post Jen! So perfectly capturing the beauty of autumn. The cookies look delicious as well!

Warda said...

Everything about this post is Poetic. From the poem to your prose poem, and your pictures. I really smelled the lavender through your words. Beautifull.

Aimée said...

I think I actually relaxed reading your post and now have a hankering for a cup of tea. Oh look, it's 3PM here in Montreal and my baby is napping. Perfect!
I'll dedicate my cup of tea to you.

Nora B. said...

I am addicted to lavender in all forms. i can almost taste the sables!

Anonymous said...

Hi, i love your food blog!!
really! beautiful pictures & delicious food! Cookies especially! oh....
perfect! so i think i will try to make "lavender cookies". it look very tasty! = )

Meeta K. Wolff said...

A gorgeous post Jen! Those sables with lavender sound incredibly delicious. Now I feel like I need to take a break for tea too!

ilingc said...

Your lavender sables sounds exquisite Jen. When I first started reading your post I was thinking "what a bummer working until 7am!" but if you're going home to these babies.. I'd take finishing 'early' any day! :D

SteamyKitchen said...

Beautiful sables and such a perfect poem....much more so than my silly Spam one !!! :-)

Thistlemoon said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your cookies, they look so good - great photography work!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I've made the other sables you posted a while ago and they turned out fantastic, Jenjen - I'm sure these are no exception!

Oh for the love of food! said...

JenJen, thanks for visiting my blog, I am honored! I'm a little embarrased now about what I said to you on my blog, I sound like a crazed fan! HA!HA! Your lavender sables look amazing, I'm sure they taste just as lovely as your Lemon Polenta cookies. I have made them twice in double quantities but substituted the sultanas with cranberries. They were absolutely addictive! Thanks for sharing.

Gattina Cheung said...

everything is so romantic, photography and lavender and all!

Jen said...

Anita- Thanks, you are too nice : )

Rose- Oh thanks, I can only attribute it to the completely beautiful autumn morning we just had. It was perfect.

Aimee- That's nice to hear that it actually made you relax, as that was the impression I was wanting to give. Lavender is so relaxing and i'm glad that is how you felt.

Nora B- Oh do try them, they will not disappoint I promise.

Candy- Thanks, I'm so glad you like them : )

Meeta- More tea breaks all round I say!

Illingc- yeah working till that time is almost always a bummer I was only fortunate that it was such a gorgeous morning that particular day. Thanks.

Steamy Kitchen- I love your SPAM one. I would have never been able to rhyme about spam or lavender Dr. Seuss style. It was genius.

Jenndz- Thank so much!

Oh for the love of food- Oh I don't mind a crazed fan or two. Especially if they are as lovely as you.

Okay I so did not mean for that to rhyme... must be Steamy Kitchen's Dr. Seuss skills rubbing off on me.

Gattina- Thank You!
Patricia Sacrpin- I hope these ones are just as good for you as the ones before. I know they didn't dasappoint me.

Helene said...

Such a poetic post and poetic photography as well!
Those cookies look so good, I can almost smell the lavender through the screen.

Freya said...

What a beautiful post! We're just coming into summer but I love autumn and your post really evokes that Autumnal feeling. Plus, the sables are awesome!

Cheryl said...

Everything about this post is pretty. The contemplating, the pictures, the lighting, everything.

This will make me look at my mornings different. But it would help if I had one of those biscuits. :)

Anonymous said...

how beautiful! i just went on a trip to sonoma where there was lots of lavendar growing wild, so pretty!

wheresmymind said...

I get such a kick outta the fact it is Fall down there when it's summer up here :)

Anonymous said...

Jen--I forgot for a moment that you're in Australia and so thought your post's title was a sarcastic remark about the weather. Here in Chicago, where it's late spring, it's rainy and grey and supposed to get down to 7ºC tonight. Your delicious, buttery sables sound like just the thing about now.

Peabody said...

Mmmm, sables...such buttery goodness.

evinrude said...

Oh this sounds good! By the way, is there another way to make these sables instead of using a food processor? I don't have one and I don't want to not make these... =(

Jerry said...

I'm so behind in keeping up with my favorit blog posts. So sorry Jen! (I'm even behind in my own blog. *shame*) It's lavender feastival out here in Texas. I can't wait to go out and buy some today for what seem to be wonderful recipes. My kitchen will smell wonderful.

browniegirl said...

What an exquisite post Jen, lovely poetry, lovely photos and luscious laid back lavender biscuits. It is autumn here in South Africa as well, so very appropriate! Thank you

Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures!!! Those sables look absolutely yumm! Have to try em' :)

LE said...

These sound lovely. I'm going to make them, but I'm a little confused by "cornstarch (cornflour)". Cornstarch the thickening agent, or cornflour like cornmeal a la polenta?

Jen said...

Le- Just to clarify. In Australia, we consider cornstarch and cornflour as the same thing (the white stuff). And the yellow stuff we call polenta and very rarely cornmeal.

hi!monkey said...

soothing lavender...
soothing cookies...
just knowing these cookies exist somewhere in this world makes the universe a cozier place for me.

i think i need a cup of tea and a nap now.

Rakhi said...

the comment comes a little late in the day. i don't usually leave comments on food blogs. but i loved the poem, the write-up and cookies were out of this world. thanks jenjen for making the blogosphere a little more beautiful. :)

The Kitchen Nazi said...

Hi, Great recipe on the lavendar cookies. Can you let me know where you purchased the lavendar sables? I live in Calif and I'm having a hard time finding them. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Remove 1 log from the fridge and cut the dough into 6mm discs.
Briefly knead the dough so that the discs stay together. "

Hi, I'm a little confused with the steps above....
cut into 6mm discs and knead again?