Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Cute Reunion Story

I started this blog to keep in touch with my family and friends scattered across continents, living high octane lives in Skype-challenging time zones. So instead of writing about yet another shop or restaurant that has opened or shut in the now touristy Palermo, I endeavour to paint a realistic picture of the city I am living in and the kind of society I have encountered so far. For this reason, I'm still surprised that my public readership is growing daily.

A few weeks ago, I received this comment from a lady named Veronika who read my archive.

I had mentioned in that post how our friends Alejandro and Guillermo recommended to us a fun little restaurant with a crazy name Enfunda la Mandolina. I must have also let on very early in my blog life that Señora Libutti is our domestic goddess' real name. Veronika, reading my blog at home in Texas, thought there was a chance she had found her long lost friends.

Instead of responding in the comment section, I wrote to her, in private, explaining sweet Ale and dear Guillermo are partners in life, not brothers. Alejandro is a talented architect specialising in restoration of commercial scale historic buildings by day and a budding thespian and stage designer by night. Ale went to primary and secondary school with my husband, also Guillermo. Theirs was another serendipitous reunion story which took place last year, some fifteen years after they left school; Ale spotted Guillermo and me in one of the oldest bookstores in Buenos Aires.

When Veronika wrote back to say her friends would be in their fifties by now, I held little hope for her. Anyway, one day while Guillermo and I were having a coffee and some chitchat with our goddess, I thought I would ask her if she had brothers. When I uttered the two names, she jaws dropped. For a brief moment, she thought I had psychic abilities.

I explained and she was elated. It turned out one of her brothers, another Guillermo, who lives in L.A. has his birthday coming up soon. I passed on Veronika's contact details – it would make a wonderful birthday surprise!

I am really thrilled that my inconsequential musings have led to a reunion of friends after almost thirty years! Once again, we have an elegant proof of the theory of six degrees of separation.

Speaking of cuteness, I was inspired by these Amai tea cookies. There is no Dean & Deluca around so I hope the cool folks at Lovescool, the maker of Amai, don't mind me whipping up a batch of Matcha cookies in my kitchen.

These cookies are all buttery-crumbly, perfect with a cup of good tea. I used a pretty but rather intricate leave cutter which was hard work with the soft dough so I would recommend you stick to simpler shapes. The quantity makes 28 cookies but you can use half of the dough and freeze half.

Matcha Shortbread Cookies:

120g unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp Matcha powder
1 1/4 cups plain flour
pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar until well blended. Mix in the Matcha powder. Add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the plastic to help form the dough into a log about 7-inches long. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 180C. Cut the chilled dough into 1/4-inch slices and arrange on parchment lined sheet pans. Bake until the tops look dry and edges just start to brown, about 10-15 minutes.

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