In these dark days before christmas I was called home because my dad was near the end of his life. He died last Sunday, and we said our final goodbyes on December 21st, the day darkness turns lighter again.
I have been able to spend one week with my dad on the last bit of his way. It was hard but I will always be thankful for it. At one point in this week I was making a puzzel in the newspaper. The solution was ‘Every sadness will turn into a sweet memory in the end’.
That made me think of rosemary. The ever fragrant rosemary is a symbol of memories of love and friendship. In Mediterranean countries it was traditionally used at weddings and funerals. It is mentioned in Shakespeares Hamlet as the herb of remembrance.
For me poignant is that you have to do something to smell it, it releases it’s scent through touch.
I put a recipe for Rosemary Buttercake in ‘Hemelse Spijzen’, the book I had the pleasure of writing with Tini Brugge, in 2004. It will be on the menu this coming week. I hope it releases your own sweet memories, maybe when you think of this year gone by.
(it is called Buttercake but think Shortbread when you make it)
- 160 g plain flour
- 160 g butter
- 80 g light soft brown sugar
- 80 ground almonds
- 2 teasp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teasp dried)
- 1 teasp vanilla sugar (caster sugar infused with vanilla)
Mix butter & sugar to a creamy mass. Add the rosemary and ground almonds and sieve in the flour. Mix to a smooth pastry. Bake in a round tin, 2o mins on 170 in a preheated oven. Take the tin from the oven and make wedges by cutting with the blunt side of a knife into the still soft cake. Sprinkle with the sugar and leave to cool.