baker’s muse

All people have certain aspirations, ambitions or hopes that guide their steps. Before I entered the Navy in my late teens, I applied for a job in a hotel kitchen and started at the very bottom, chopping vegetables, and preparing dressings for the salad bar. But for an accident (I broke my wrist) in that restaurant kitchen, I might have chosen the career path toward chef. Half a lifetime later, I now make food as a distraction and hobby. Lately, I enjoy sharing these things with family and friends. While ancient Greeks credited a Muse for their creative hopes, I have come to rely upon my wife for inspiration.

Since the Pandemic of 2019 -2020 meant many of us had to find other things to do for months (we work together in our own business that was idled for five months) watching baking and cooking-contest shows became a guilty pleasure. Home bakers and cooks should recall that several types of flour and particularly, yeast, were nearly impossible to obtain from stores or online because so many were dusting off recipe books and following these shows. We added a few new kitchen appliances including mixers and a food processor. It was getting off the couch to try a recipe of one British baking show contestant – a banana-chocolate- caramel (all made from scratch) Bundt cake, that started my obsession. In the year since we have added baking tools, cake pans, appliances, and dozens of varied ingredients. I have a sheaf of printed recipes and others from my wife’s magazines; more than a hundred or more recipes are part of our current collection. After consuming these baked goods and treats for the last ten months or so, I certainly understand why some of the judges on the British Baking Show went back into retirement. The baking thing is a challenge I enjoy. The weight gain is not as appreciated. So I am giving my creations away as often as possible.

I can be a romantic. The way to every woman’s heart is through her stomach. Food is at the core of everything.

Paul Hollywood, celebrity chef

Fresh bread, banana -walnut loaf, breakfast granola-berry muffins, lemon custard-cake desserts and different pies have been well-received. Friday evening, I made a Keto diet-friendly coconut pie to take to a dinner with our friends, along with some merengue treats yesterday afternoon. Having not made a Keto pie before, I wanted to make a trial run before serving it to our friends. The pie turned out well but the experience gave me a few tweaks to improve on the recipe for next time.

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