Tag Archives: baking

sweet spots.

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have you ever asked yourself,

“will today be the day I combine my love of baking with my love of arts and crafts?”

if this is the day, here’s what can help

the brand new disco, glitter, chocolate chips

this hit all the sweet spots for me

a holy trinity of sins.

 

“you know, your clothes may say disco, but your eyes say rock and roll.”

-giuseppe andrews

 

 

image credit: nestle’s

cookie, cookie, cookie.

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“happiness isn’t a fortune in a cookie. it’s deeper, wider, funnier, and more transporting than that.”

-elvis costello

 NATIONAL COOKIE DAY – December 4

The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake.”

Hard cookie-like wafers have existed for as long as baking has been documented. Not surprisingly, they traveled well, too, though were usually not sweet enough to be considered cookies by modern-day standards.

The origin of the cookie appears to begin in Persia in the 7th century, soon after the use of sugar became common in the region. They then spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. Cookies were common at all levels of society throughout Europe by the 14th century, from the royal cuisine to the street vendors.

Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century. Macaroons and gingerbread cookies were among the popular early American cookies. In most English-speaking countries outside of North America, the most common word for cookie is “biscuit.”  In some regions, both terms, cookies, and biscuits are used.

HOW TO OBSERVE NationalCookieDay

Pick up some cookies at your local bakery and remember to share them with family and friends. Or – make a list of your favorite cookies to bake and enjoy. Organize your baking tools and start your assembly line. Taste as you go.

NATIONAL COOKIE DAY HISTORY

In 1976, Sesame Street included National Cookie Day on its calendar for the first time. Cookie Monster also proclaimed his own National Cookie Day in the 1980 book The Sesame Street Dictionary. Then in 1987, Matt Nader of the Blue Chip Cookie Company created Cookie Day, celebrating it on December 4th.

bread is.

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my first bread.

 

3 personal goals this year –

1 didn’t happen due to the human factor,

1 didn’t happen due to the pandemic,

 1 did happen in spite of everything- 

i learned to make bread.

1 out of 3’s not bad.

“bread is a celebration.”      

-lynne rossetto kasper

madelines on my mind.

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shared a kitchen and an online live cooking class

with one of my grandies today

we had

a fast-working sur la table pastry chef

 equipment, ingredients, and time

 we both worked hard for 2 hours

improvised along the way

 scrambled to find things

as the chef added in a few surprises

like making two royal icings

of different consistencies

all while

white chocolate melted

dark chocolate melted

not burning

never mixing

coloring the icings

buttering and chilling the pan

twice

after many, many steps

 we had pretty much trashed the entire kitchen

but in the end

we had created

wonderful french madelines – vanilla bean halloween style

 more tiny cakes than cookies.

“cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. and cooking done with care is an act of love.”

-craig claiborne

 

just a spoonful (or 11) of sugar….

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on this day in 1964

a perennial favorite of children

“mary poppins,” premiered.

julie andrews as mary, sang and danced her way through this happy film

 her famous ‘just a spoonful of sugar’ song danced through my head

as i continued my foray into bread making with my latest project

cinnamon swirl donut bread

i think mary would have been quite impressed/horrified by all the sugar involved in this one

is was not only a sweet donut loaf

but was swirled with cinnamon, sugar, and molasses

and in the final stages

the entire  loaf

still warm from the oven

was dipped in melted butter

then rolled in a mix of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon

that melted together

creating an outer crust 

this was not a loaf for the feint of heart

nor amateur sugar-eater

 a little went a long way, but pretty tasty, all in all.

next up – beer bread

i wonder what movie from my past that experience will trigger.

“if god hadn’t meant for us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.”

-ralph nader

 

 

image credit: walt disney pictures

i love cinnamon.

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‘i love cinnamon and baking with my mom.’ – h

 class bakery day

 the children worked

very hard

over the last few weeks

learning

about bread

about baking

how sharing bread is a way to welcome others

 every culture makes and eats and shares bread

listened to books about bread and baking

practiced ‘baking’ with play-dough

baked real lemon bread at school

baked breads at home

bought breads at the store

made signs and decorated tables

learned about buying and selling using pennies

gave other classes pennies

that they had to ‘earn’ by working in their rooms

invited other classes, faculty, staff, and families

to come to our room for a big bakery event

said they would give pennies or free bread

to anyone who had no money or food

families supported their efforts

making this day so special

 everyone went home

very full, very tired, very happy.

the bakery in full swing

“anyone who gives you a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven is a friend for life.”

-daniel handler

bread.

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one of my dreams this year

is to learn to make bread from scratch

I look forward to

the peace, the poetry, the adventure. 

the crust.

 

“peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.”

-pablo neruda

 

 

 

 

image credit: lamag.com

plans.

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the recipe said it was easy

only 4 ingredients

no cooking

only

melting

spreading

drizzling

chilling

but

they did not say

not to wear a white sweater with bell sleeves when melting chocolate

don’t forget that you have to individually unwrap each caramel

while chocolate is still warm and not solidifying

that the peanut butter chips won’t actually drizzle

that the caramel will come out in blobs

that the chocolate on the bottom won’t easily come off of the foil

that the slab will not actually break in the right way

that the 4 ingredients will re-solidify in the disposal

that the whole thing will not resemble the picture

that it will still taste good if people are daring enough to try it

that this will be a one-time recipe for me.

‘just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.’

-taylor swift

strudel.

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the master-chef sisters of hungarian strudel

“You need an egg, two spoonfuls of lard, and a pinch of salt, followed by flour, a dash of vinegar, and just enough warm water to create a dough with a dumpling-like consistency.” This is part of the traditional Hungarian strudel recipe that Ilona and Erzsébet, elderly sisters and lifelong baking partners, learned from their late mother. In their small village of Tura, an hour outside of Budapest, the sisters regularly bake the delicate pastry for up to 500 people for weddings and community events.

In the short documentary Strudel Sisters, directed by Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa, Ilona and Erzsébet share how a family tradition evolved into a livelihood. Their quirky rapport may as well be part of the recipe—no strudel-making session is complete without bouts of bickering and singing.

“I loved the sisters from the first time I met them,” Kalifa told me, “and I knew straight away that we had to make a film about them. They are really special people with big hearts and a great sense of humor and just have this warm, grandmotherly feel, which instantly resonated with me.”

Authentic strudel-making is a dying art. It requires a certain moxie: the dough must be worked vigorously in order to activate the gluten, after which it acquires a threshold of elasticity, allowing the baker to stretch it until it’s tissue-thin and nearly translucent. Then, the filling—most commonly grated apple, brown sugar, lemon, and cinnamon—is added intermittently between the pastry layers.

While making the film, Kalifa and Hegedus were lucky enough to taste five different types of the sisters’ strudel. “My personal favorite was the cheese strudel,” said Kalifa. “Strudel is part of their DNA. They’ve been making strudel all their lives, and you can tell.”

“first bake the strudel, then sit down and ponder.”

-austrian proverb

credits: emily buder- author, peter hegedus/jaina kalifa – video/photo, the atlantic

About This Series:

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.

baked with a dash of whimsy.

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(and I just love anything to do with Bigfoot)