Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooking up a storm

At least once a week, I have to bake. I have no idea why. It's not like I'm a great chef or anything - but I do like to bake stuff. I made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for a birthday cake and a chocolate chip loaf for the freezer. Then I made raspberry cream muffins and blueberry muffins for myself, putting most of them into the freezer so I'll have breakfasts when I head back to work next week. The muffin recipe came from the Tasha Tudor recipe book and it's pretty much my favorite muffin recipe. The sweet cake really works with the tangy fresh berries. The book is great if you enjoy old fashioned cooking - homemade breads, brownies, soups, roast chicken, cream of mushroom soup and the best butterscotch buns imagineable. I've been a big fan of Tudor's for years. I like her art and the lifestyle she led in Vermont where she lived as though she were living in the 1830s - making everything herself and being self-sufficient. You got to love a woman who has her own tea blend! I think it's available from Mark T Wendell but it's also available on the website. It's a plain black tea, a Welsh breakfast, that's quite serviceable. Over the years, I've tried to become more self-sufficient myself and each year I try to learn something new. I can ride a horse, knit, do needlepoint, embroidery and cross-stitch, make preserves, jams and pickles, bake, do hand-sewing, paint, and this year, I'm growing some simple vegetables from seed. So far, I've only had success with swiss chard, baby bibb lettuce, peppers and garlic but hey, ya gotta start somewhere! It's just nice knowing how to do some things that are outside today's norm. I don't think I'll ever move mentally to the 1830s, but it's nice to have some of the skills. If you ever get a chance to read about Tudor, do so - she was an amazing lady.

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