Back in the saddle…er, kitchen

I’ve mentioned before that one of my goals in moving to Seattle was to learn to cook.   Somehow I had missed out on that lesson in life, so teaching myself to cook in a city that thrives on local and organic foods seemed a wise choice.   How’s it going you ask?  So very tasty.  I have set goals for myself to make one new meal a week, and for that meal, to use at least one local product.  Not including the weeks I was traveling, I have met my goal every week.  Of course, it helps that I have no children to tend to in the evenings, or friends to cause my to stray with offers of dinner out, but still, I’m impressed with myself.

I realized though that while I am loving learning to cook, I had been neglecting my baking.  While in Hong Kong, the material object I missed the most was my mixer.  Well, that and an actual-for-real kitchen.  I missed baking.  And while my beautiful mixer is still stored away in a garage in Florida, I have re-gathered or obtained many other baking necessities.  This week, I set cooking aside and got back to my baking roots. 

I started with Valerie’s scrumptious but incredibly STICKY Strawberry Cookies – with cherry chip substitute.  (An aside: while the cherry chip cookies were yummy, I’ll stick with strawberry from here on out.)  It was my friend’s birthday, and everyone deserves cookies in the mail for their birthday, right? I love these cookies because they are cheap and always a party favorite.  What I do not like about these cookies is that they can easily burn the motor out on your hand mixer.  Or, as evidenced below, will completely twist up your beaters.

101_3421 <—YIKES!!

After the cookies, I decided to fall back on an old classic, and one of my favorites and specialties, an Apple Pie.  We were having a staff meeting on Thursday, as well as celebrating our director’s birthday, not to mention that we had two boxes of leftover apples at the shelter.  So Apple Pie seemed like a must have.   I must say that it turned out beautifully.

101_3416

Wednesday we are welcoming our new pastor, and I’ve been commissioned to make a “Welcome Cake!”  On the 30th one of our social workers will be finishing her internship, and I’ll be making her “Goodbye Cake!” 

Is it odd that I feel more complete when I’m baking?

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3 thoughts on “Back in the saddle…er, kitchen

  1. Not odd at all. I love to bake. I love to see a concrete finished product – you had flour and apples (and some other stuff), and now you have a pie. Especially when the work you’re doing is so nebulous, it’s nice to hold a finished product every now and then.

  2. Ah-ha, mystery solved. Said friend says thanks and they are DELICIOUS! Plus, my roomie who can’t eat chocolate can enjoy them with me 🙂 She has a tough time finding non chocolate desserts. And I feel very fulfilled when I bake especially when it’s for someone.

  3. I (to this point in my life) do not do a lot of baking but I do a LOT of cooking and I love it. There are times when I wonder did I maybe miss a calling somewhere along the line. And the completion feeling is similar for me. I love seeing the ingredients and watching them take form and voila (or viola as the case may be) you have something delicious and the best thing to do with something delicious is share it with people you love!

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