Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where The Soul Is

I think I've always loved baking. Not cooking, but baking. I love the smells it creates, warming the house with its scents. I'm calm while I bake, even when I make every mistake in the book.

Since being home, I've become something of a kitchen nut. While I love romping around doing odd-jobs, watching my favorite television shows and movies for the umpteenth time, and crocheting my little heart away, there's something satisfying all around when baking.

Don't get me wrong--I've also caused my parents to get the kitchen bug. Since I've been home, we've tried all sorts of recipes for dinner. I've even gotten them to like making Chinese/Japanese food, to a point (they aren't as enthused to try anything beyond rice with curry... apparently, peanut sauce is too much to ask for). The dogs truly enjoy following me around, waiting for some morsel of my ingredients to fall to the floor for their taking.

I love making treats and breads. Banana and apple bread are my favorite, right when they come from the oven, still warm and filled with bits of fruit. Pies are fun, too. I've taken a habit of memorizing the ingredients, and I've thought of what I may or may not add later, experimenting.

It wasn't always like this. We'd usually bake during the holidays. One year, when I was about twelve, I came into the kitchen while my mother made fudge, melting butter and sugar together on the stove top. The smell made me gag, and still to this day gives me shivers. Nothing should ever enter the stomach with that much butter and sugar... It turned me off from baking for quite some time.

But college changes you. Meals go from home-cooked to buffet and packaged. After about a year and a half, everything begins to taste the same, from the fresh apples to the Alfredo sauce. Baking your own food is the only way to make the taste buds dance.

Our neighbor has given me two pie dishes, one for apple, the other for pumpkin. He said I should put them in my Hope Chest. He then laughed and said that he supposed we don't do that so much anymore. I also pointed out that "I don't have a man, and won't need one to bake. I just need friends and family to enjoy what I have to offer!" He's been invited over for every pie made since.

Random Fact: In the 19th century, apple and other fruit pies were a fairly common breakfast item. Fruit pie was considered part of a good hearty meal before a hard day's work.

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