Here’s an update on my polka-dancing skills.

Said friend asked me — after he inspected my shoes to see that I could keep them on — if I would like to try to polka again. I said sure (like an idiot).

We started off well and it sorta went downhill from there. But, in my meanest voice, I told him if he sat me down in front of all of those people again he would be sorry. Surprise, surprise even after a few minor mess ups on his part (it’s my column so I can say that!), we made it to the bitter end. He did not sit me down before it was over.

Why didn’t I see this next remark coming?

But as he was seeing me to my chair, he had to announce to the whole world, “She can’t polka!” With all things being said, I guess that was one tiny step better than pulling out my chair and telling me to sit down before the song was over. But I can line dance to one line dance and I can two-step. So what if I can’t polka? It’s too taxing anyway!

If you are looking for something to do on a Friday night, please come to the American Legion Hall in Angleton for dancing to some of the best music in Texas — Debbie and Lowell. I have to say they just get better and better.

If you live in this column space, try your local American Legion Hall and have some fun, meet some new people, laugh and have a good time. I know if you’ve ever heard Debbie and Lowell, you don’t even have to dance. They are just plain, good old listening music. And they play the latest hits in country music.

I won’t be at the Legion Hall next Friday — or this Friday as you are reading this — because I will be in Houston in an English pub meeting Peter’s British friends. Sure hope I pass the test. I’m going to be myself. If Peter heard that, he would be saying, “What have I done?” Somewhere in me, I just know there is a lady waiting to get out.

n n n

Hi Gin,

I made these tonight. I bought them once at the grocery store on the way to RVing and now John is hooked on them. I think they will be replacing scones.



1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus another 2 tablespoons for the pan

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

Special tools: madeleine pan, pastry brush.


Melt the butter and set aside to slightly cool as you prepare the rest of the batter. You can melt it in the microwave or melt/brown it on the stove top.

Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (didn’t notice a difference using either one), beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for at least eight minutes. The mixture will be thick, pale, and form ribbons when you lift the beaters. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract until combines. The remaining ingredients are mixed together by hand; you no longer need the mixer.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold into the egg mixture. I suggest carefully folding in half of the flour mixture, then folding in the other half, instead of dumping it all in at once. Make sure you’re handling this batter with care; it’s very delicate.

Stir 1/4 cup of the batter into the melted butter. It will take a minute to fully incorporate. Then stir it all into the rest of the batter. The batter will be thick, silky and shiny.

Cover the batter and chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Try not to chill any longer than this as the butter in the batter will begin to solidify.

During the last few minutes of chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pan with melted butter. I find greasing the pan is necessary, even if you’re using a nonstick pan. We want to avoid any chance of sticking.

The batter will be quite airy and spongey after resting. This is good! Do not try to deflate it. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of batter into the center of each scallop well. No need to spread it to the edges. Just plop it in the center. Cover and refrigerate remaining batter if you do not have two madeleine pans to bake the batter all at once.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The madeleines are done when the tops spring back after lightly pressed with your finger. Invert the pan onto the counter. Transfer the warm madeleines to a wire rack to lightly cool.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving. Madeleines are best enjoyed right after baking, so I don’t have any make-ahead tips. The dry out very quickly; I find baked and covered madeleines lose their texture even after one day.


That last part won’t be a problem, I’m thinking. Who could walk away from a warm madeleine? John is so lucky to have replaced his beloved scones with these treats.

Thanks for sharing something that is addicting!

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531, or

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