One lovely side-effect of my new weekly routine is the amount of time it gives me to cook. This week alone I've made pizzas from scratch, meatloaf with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, and beef stroganoff with steamed rice and green peas.
Last night we got home from band practice at a quarter to eleven with one of the guitarists in tow. My husband wanted something to eat, so I fixed a short-order breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon for the men. While they ate and chatted, I proceeded to bake a batch of cookies that I'll need for tonight.
I've had cookies from a grocery store bakery that contained white chocolate chips and dried cherries, so I thought I'd do a version of those using a fairly standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'd bought Nestle white chocolate chips and dried tart cherries, and I soaked the cherries in warm water before chopping them. I started out using the recipe on the bag of chips but discovered that it was leading to the inclusion of cocoa, so I switched to the Better Homes and Gardens recipe midstream. The sugar proportions were a little off and I think that made the baking time longer, but otherwise the cookies were delicious.
I've always loved to bake, but I'm confined to "bake and take" situations so as not to tempt my diabetic husband. I enjoy cooking, too, but not quite as much as creating delicately-browned cookies, pies, cakes and breads. Now that it's getting colder outside, I'll probably foist more and more baked goods on my co-workers and friends. And let's not forget Christmas baking and candy making...
The weird thing is that I'm not much of a nurturer/homemaker type otherwise. Baking is one of those things I absorbed from my elder family members, like embroidery and speech peppered with noticeably rounded "o" sounds that make people think I'm from Minnesota even though I've never been there. It provides a welcome connection to a past that's otherwise quickly slipping away.