Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Addictive Nature of Baking

I think I just plain have baking in my blood. I can't help myself. Growing up I saw my Gram bake something pretty much every single day... it may have been anything from a grape pie to dinner rolls to sugar cookies. Most all of these things she did not even need a recipe for she just knew how to do it. Rock solid. My Mom is (of course) a mean baker too.... whipping out cheesecakes, German chocolate cakes, molasses cookies (the best ones you ever had) and too many items at Christmas time to even start to try to list. Ask anyone who is a recipient of one of the famed Christmas Cookie Trays and they will tell you, it's an easy 5 pound weight gain situation no matter what. There is no escape. But it's worth every pound. You can work it off after New Years.

There is just something so indulgent about the actual experience of baking... it's all about the smells and textures and watching the ingredients melt together. Sweet cream butter, sugar and Madagascar bourbon vanilla in a bowl? Pure heaven! Having your house filled with the scent of a Nectarine Golden Cake (which is what happens to be in my oven right now) is totally soul soothing.

The only problem I run into here is that there are only two of us to eat whatever we bake. Well, three if you want to count the small, furry scavenger who is addicted to pie crust bones. This is dangerous ground to tread on unless you really want to look like a muffin top in your jeans. Sigh. I guess I just have to look to the fact that my Gram is well into her 80's and spent her life eating fresh baked goodies.... she lived to tell and hopefully so will we.

So again with this month's issue of Gourmet magazine. I'm tellin' ya it's a humdinger loaded with great recipes. Tonight I made the Nectarine Golden Cake which was exceedingly easy to make. Nectarines are at their peak for flavor right now... the ones from California are just fabulously sweet and perfect. Grab some and whip out one of these beautiful little cakes!

Of course you have to make fresh whipped cream to go on top. It's the law.

In other news... Rudy is still a pain in my butt. His new thing is to stand around growling at me and tapping his empty food bowl with his toenails. This has been going on for hours tonight. At first I kept giving him more food and he kept on eating it... but now all bets are off. I'm done. He has got to be kidding me, right? He just did it again! What a weenie.

Billy is painting away as always. He spends his days pouring over cookbooks in between painting sessions and then when I get home from work there is always a beautiful table of food waiting for me. Here is his latest... this is a scene from the Scarborough Marsh area just south of Portland, Maine. We really love this place... I can't wait until we can make it back up there in the Airstream in the early summer time.

Tomorrow I head back to work for a three day stretch that is guaranteed to kick my ass. I'll try to catch up again with y'all come Sunday.


Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Andy does pretty much all the cooking here. But I like to bake. He likes to throw stuff together, have four or five things going on at once. I like to follow a recipe for one thing, in one pot or pan, slowly and methodically. And we have the same problem: there are only two of us. Luckily, Andy loves sweet things more than I do, and he is also a naturally lean runner with the metabolism of a hummingbird, so I *try* to let him eat the bulk of whatever I bake. (All bets are off when it's chocolate bread pudding, though.)

Those apricot cakes look delicious, and Billy's painting is beautiful. But you know my favorite is Rudy1 Do his front paws turn out a little? Lucy's do, which is why we think she's part Corgi.

The mental picture of Rudy tapping his bowl with his claw made me laugh out loud! I'm amazed Lucy hasn't figured that out. Her days revolve completely around meals. She "talks" (something between a growl and a bark) at us starting 45 minutes to an hour before mealtime. She also has this special way of staring at you when you are eating toast that makes it physically impossible not to give her any.

Bethany said...

Yeah Karen... it's all butter and heavy cream up in here between Billy and his French cooking and my baking. Soon I will need to be running on a treadmill WHILE I am eating dinner.

So Lucy only begs for toast? Because Rudy seems to be begging for the air we breathe lately. He never used to be such a foodie but over the past few months his ways have changed. It makes me wonder a bit what is going on around here during the day while I am gone to work. I think Billy and Rudy may be snacking together.