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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.

3 comments:

  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!

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  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.

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

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