This was one of those wonderfully relaxing sunny “Spanish mornings” when we just sat and talked, drinking our coffee, munching on Noemi’s Madalenas, and sunning our pale legs outside on her patio. It was the first time I’d been to Noemi’s house which surprised me in its modern decor and the beautifully organized bookshelves with great literary quotes on each shelf edge. I was also surprised by the “ham holder” which, according to Noemi, “every Spanish family has.” This morning Noemi shared her grandmother’s recipe. To me, sharing a family recipe is like sharing a treasure. This was no exception.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 degrees F.
- Mix the zest of 1 1/2 lemons with 4 eggs and whisk in a blender until the color is a lighter in hue and it has almost doubled in quantity.
- Add 1 cup oil (she used one of her tall drinking glasses filled about half way – it looked like about one of our 1 cup measuring cups) and blend well (she used her electric whisk)
- Add 250 grams (9 ounces) sugar, 200 grams (7 ounces) all-purpose flour, and 20 grams (1 ounce) magic powder or baking powder and mix well.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar and bake for 15 minutes. They should be yellow in color on top and not brown.
*I was early. Thanks to my bluntly honest Spanish friend, I have now learned that according to Spanish culture, it is rude to be early. This might explain why Spanish are almost always late. She explained, “The hostess is almost always running late. If you are early or even on time, then you are disrupting her while she’s making last minute preparations. It’s better to be a few minutes late to give her time to have everything ready.”