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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In the Kitchen

I love baking and cooking for others. It is a gift of time and effort that provides delight. Sometimes I think my gifts even provide healing in one form or another. Today, though, I am baking and cooking to celebrate my neighbor's retirement from a career as a university professor and researcher. I began with artisan bread (in my really cool Emile Henry crock and the dough I prepared last night) and sourdough cinnamon raisin (which I realized did not get the cinnamon added - only after I'd rolled and pinched the loaves shut). Then I started the yellow cake layers for a Primrose Cake (with raspberry mousse and lemon curd to go in between those layers), and because the bananas were so ripe and the oven was on, I mixed up a double batch of banana chocolate chip bread for my appreciative son. In a few hours, I will chop vegetables and marinate chicken breasts, but for now, I'm going to read and savor my tea.

In her graphic novel Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Lucy Knisley says, "But baking became my way to engage while disengaging. It was a comforting ritual to occupy my nervous energy and fill my belly. Nicely independent and satisfyingly dangerous." I suppose one of the reasons I bake is to separate myself from life's busy demands and engage in something that brings me and others happiness. The only dangerous part is wanting to eat everything I have made!

In addition to being a memoir of Lucy's life in and out of the kitchen, recipes that have shaped her experiences are sprinkled amidst the drawings and text: Chai tea (made by chopping cardamom pods and spices), pesto, chocolate chip cookies, carbonara, huevos rancheros, sushi rolls, pickles, sangria, Shepard pie.


  1. You are both a talented and an ambitious woman. The cake with lemon curd must be absolutely divine. You are a wonderful neighbor, and bet that you are truly appreciated!

  2. "The only dangerous part" of spending time with you is eating everything you make because it is all just sooo good. hope it was a wonderful evening.

  3. Has Pinterest taken over?
    We get wonderful recipes from there.