Sunday, July 20, 2003

Oh To Be Inspired

I am too serious a baker, I realize that now. I just take the entire prospect of baking to a level of seriousness that takes the fun and inspiration out of baking. I bake to impress. I've never baked just for the fun and enjoyment of the final product. Not usually, anyway. Strawberry shortcake, that is for fun and enjoyment. Chocolate fudge cake with dried cranberries...that is to impress, despite the fact that it's a seriously great cake done well. I want to regain the fun in baking.

I enjoy making pasta dishes. That is fun, and I love the result. I love the preperation of the ingredients, using my favorite knife to chop up or slice or dice or chifonade the veggies, add the garlic at just the right time to avoid it burning. Using my favorite pans. I feel like I know what I'm doing! And I have fun.

Here are the things I like to bake: Pumpkin Bread, Overnight Sticky Buns, Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread, the shortcakes for strawberry shortcake, biscuits, Cherry, Apple, Blueberry Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Cheesecake. Cheesecake is a challenge that I swear I'm going to master, without the crack down the center. Someday. Still looking for the perfect "tip" on that. I've tried cheesecake a thousand different ways. I have a chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache that is outa this world. But still. Too serious.

K made a Bisquick coffee cake today. It was perfect. Moist, extra struesel topping. I'm jealous. He just does it, doesn't think about it or impressing anyone, he's making it because that is what he is craving right now. It's fabulous. He added a tablespoon of oil to the batter. How did he know to do that? What am I missing in this equation?

I'm really not an inspired cook or baker. I follow the recipe exactly. To the letter. I don't know how not to. It's alot like coloring inside the lines. I don't know how to go outside the lines. I don't know how to veer away from The Recipe and do something REALLY EXCITING. He's very good at "winging it." I'm not. On the other hand, I'm really good at other things, and am inspired other ways. I'll figure this thing out. Truly I'll figure this thing out.

And yes, as always, it IS all about me.


  1. Did you ever figure it out? I used to think I was not an inspired cook because I was comparing myself to your 2nd Dad, who obviously was. But later I realized I was just tired of cooking. When I got untired again, I really understood that I was pretty creative compared to most people. It helps to figure out who you are comparing yourself to!!!

  2. That struck a chord. I was tired of cooking, and really I'm still not much of an inspired cook, but I'm a good cook. I like being told how to do it :) I remember once upon a time when you and Dad were away for the evening, and we were living in the Fellowship house, I tried to make cookies without a recipe. It was a disaster. I think I cleaned it all up and you may never have been the wiser! It didn't scar me for life, but it sure made an impression. Funny, I think I also compare myself to both of the Dads. The first one because he seemed to look down on instructions of any kind, and the second one because he really was inspired and inspiring in the kitchen. I think he would have made a terrific celebrity chef. Such a performer!

    I have found out about myself that I don't have amazing ideas the way a more entrepreneurial spirit might, but I'm very creative with someone elses idea. As we say around this house, Kent has the vision, Erin solves how to do it/create it/implement it. I like using other's ideas as a launching pad for my own creative interpretations.