Would you like milk with that?

In a most productive manner, I have spent the morning cooking up a storm. Jumbo pot of chili, enough for two meals plus portions for lunches, a Jumbo crock full of stew, again enough for two meals, dough for pizza, toppings are grilled and in the freezer, fillings are made for tourtieres and in the freezer, *sigh*. The house smells delicious. I was planning to spend the afternoon catching up on the baking I didn’t do last week, but here I sit. There’s always tomorrow. We’ve been invited out for dinner tonight and are leaving at 4, and since it’s almost 2, it doesn’t make sense to get into anything now.

I love to bake. I love to cook, but I love to bake more. There’s just something therapeutic about combining ingredients, concocting, rolling dough, shaping dough, experimenting. I bake everything from breads to cookies, from cakes to puddings, from pies to squares. My favorite type of baking is when I just decide to use a basic base and toss in a bit of this and a bit of that and hope for the best. Like this one:
A Quickbread base,
1-1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter and add eggs, plus any combination of moist ingredients you can come up with….ie: 3 ripe mashed bananas for banana bread, a cup of slightly mashed fresh wild blueberries, or a cup of mashed rhubarb….milky mashed potatoes and some mashed roasted garlic…yum.

Not all of my experiments turn out the way I’d like, but they get eaten nonetheless. My grandmother tells me that because I put so much love into my cooking, my family will always think it tastes amazing.

I’ve been trying to master spaghetti sauce. Thought I had it about two weeks ago, froze the batch, but when I used it a few days later, it wasn’t at all what I was hoping for. Now I have 6 portions of sauce in the freezer that need some work. Paul makes amazing spaghetti sauce, but only enough for one dinner at a time.

In a recent discussion with invisiblemikey we agreed that food tastes better when you participate in its origin in some way. Never is it more obvious than baked goods. I’m not sure whether it’s the memories it inspires, or the explosion on the taste buds, but my killer chocolate chip cookies are better at bringing a family together then any therapist.

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