A few years ago I stopped baking and I stopped cooking full meals.
It just seemed easier to toss things in the microwave or to order pizza or to just go out and have someone else do the work- and I’ll put it out there with all of my heart- teachers and cooks and chefs do NOT get paid enough.
My point is this: after years of cooking for my family I am OVER the experience.
Sometimes though- when it snows or the weather is bad and I look out the window and wonder what to do, I turn an eye to my kitchen and I bake.
Sometimes I bake from scratch – whichto me feels like I’m working in a lab with dangerous chemicals or test tubes full of malicious life forms just waiting for you to make one false move, to add just a smidge too much of this or not put in enough of that and by that carelessness – kaboom.
What I love about baking and what I miss about baking are the smells- the scent of vanilla and cinnamon,the beautiful aroma of mulled spices that make their way into warm apple cider and the intoxicating aroma of cooling pies and cookies.
I made a deal with myself- if the sky is gray and there is a bite in the air this weekend I think I might go a little mad scientist and do some holiday baking.
I have some standby recipes like shortbread- I make a mean shortbread and if it involves fruit and white chocolate I’ll give it a try. And of course I guess I’ll do some Christmas cookies because I’m not a total wet blanket.
Besides, I like to listen to Christmas music when I bake and to double the fun ( for me and to the deep concern of my dog when I do this ) I wear a Christmas Sweatshirt and make my dog wear his Christmas Tree Tiara and I sing along at the tops of my lungs
Photo A.M. Moscoso
For some inspiration I might try a few of these from The Soul Food Café 2003 Made in Australia Calendar because there is a recipe for a treat where Rice Krispie cereal is called Rice Bubbles.
Like I’m going to walk away from that!
This month is supposed to be about adventure and experimenting with new ways of doing things and creating things with my own two hands ( as opposed to clicking an icon on my laptop with my own two hands that looks like a shopping cart and sending for it )
I suppose my kitchen is just as good as any museum or symphony hall or poorly lit icy street to embark on this quest.
I just hope I remember to pull the battery out of my smoke detector first.