Hmm, let’s see here. I’m 47 and have been cooking since I was about this tall. But as close as I’ve ever come to baking was helping my grandmother and uncle at a tender young age. Sure I’ve put together maybe 2 batches of cookies and there’s one wheat bread post here on Meathenge proper since then. But I’ve always been someone who stoutly vocalized, “I am not a baker!” For me, cooking and baking are not the same. I do not enjoy following recipes, exactly. And brother? For baking, there are rules.
This Meat Enthusiast was laid off after 21 years this last July. Nah, don’t cry for me. No love lost there. It has given me some much needed time to rethink my self proclaimed status of a non-baker. Today I consider myself someone who has embarked on a lifelong journey in to baked goodies. And what better way to start off on such a journey, than cookies? Banana bread? Eh?
I can still remember my grandmother and uncle giving me a few pointers about measuring dry goods, bringing unsalted butter n eggs to “room temperature”. So, armed with that knowledge and a few copies of The Joy of Cooking, I’ve been making a wonderful mess in the kitchen. And you know what? I’ve been nailing the recipes! No burning, great crumb, moist n rich, perfect in every way. Nestle’s bitter-sweet morsels fell very short of my adult expectations though. They were quickly swapped out for the Ghirardelli counterpart and promptly scored a 10.
No recipes today, no special procedures. Only a nudge to consider knocking out some baked love while the smoker or grill is hard at work in the blustery fall weather. The smell of fresh bread wafting from your oven has a very similar effect that bacon and burning mesquite does.
ps – I did end up having to buy a thermometer for the oven. A baked chicken doesn’t care much if it’s roasting at 450 or 475. But a cookie does, a loaf of bread does. Must have an accurate oven brother man.