Dear's Ice Cubes
This picture of Dear's Ice Cubes from Soul Food Love replaces a picture of a pan of madeleine's.
I invented the cornbread madeleine. It is my claim to culinary fame. Someone else may have invented it somewhere else but I invented it in Music City. I ate my first madeleine as a senior in high school when I first read Proust. Madeleine’s appear in two out of three of my novels. I love the idea of taste evoking memory. One of the tastes that evokes the most memory for me is cornbread. When I was a girl every morning my grandfather, Pawpaw, made skillet of cornbread for the family’s breakfast. I invented my version of the classic shell-shaped cake in honor of my grandfather’s cornbread. For years it was something I only ate privately. For my Pushkin and the Queen of Spades launch party I decided to share my cornbread madeleines and have served them at public feasts ever after.
For me Dear's Ice Cubes go as perfectly with cornbread madeleine's as Dear went with Paw Paw. And they are just as different as Dear was from Paw Paw. Dear's Ice Cubes have no calories. They can turn a glass of water into a party. They are that profound frivolous that sustains by provoking imagination and joy. Paw Paw's cornbread. You can feed an army on that on only that. You can feed farmers on that on only that. You can raise warriors on that on only that. Cornbread reminds me of tough people in tough times. Dear's Ice Cubes remind me that tough people in tough times sometimes have beautiful dreams that they make go real in the daylight.
To learn more about Dear who began life in Selma at the end of the nineteenth century peek into her chapter of Soul Food Love.