I’ve discovered over the past few years that I truly do love to cook. It started with baking cookies with my mother. We baked cookies every now and then, but once a year we rolled up our sleeves and baked dozens (no exaggeration here) of batches of cookies to give away at Christmas time. I wasn’t much help back then, but I’d like to think I was a good source of entertainment.
More recently, I started baking cookies on my own just for fun – and because I do love a good cookie. This exploration in the kitchen led to a desire to cook food, not just sweets. During a summer living on my own, I relished the opportunity to buy and cook all sorts of foods. Admittedly, I wasn’t always successful, but that’s half of the journey! In the past year this growing interest in cooking has culminated in making most of the side dishes at Thanksgiving, a few at Christmas, and a constant stream of baked goods emerging from the oven and into the mouths of my family members during school breaks.
The peak of this occurred over spring break, when I happened to have more free time than usual, and couldn’t quite figure out how to calm my brain down. The result? Three batches of scones (my proudest accomplishment), homemade cinnamon buns, white and wheat bagels, a cinnamon twist bread, and even my very own version of Nutella. I learned how to make yeast dough by hand (a challenge of my prior use of the bread machine), and gained a greater understanding of what makes a perfect scone.
Fortunately for the waistlines of my family and friends, I was only home for a week. Any longer and I may have been forced to find other taste testers for my experiments!
Alas, it’s back to “real food” for now. I’m embracing this as a new challenge, and hoping that my desire to create will last for the rest of the semester. So far, so good!