A Noteworthy Absence

"Moist ~ Heavy ~ Poppy Seed Cake"

“Moist ~ Heavy ~ Poppy Seed Cake”

Do you ever just want to slink down beneath the covers and return to the foggy dream you were in? I have to tell you that during the holidays and into the new year, I work myself practically around the clock. In the back of my mind is the conversation I hold with yours truly, and it starts off with this sentence: “All right Theresa, time to put yourself in motion and dance your ‘Kitchen Ballet’.” (I have decided this will be the name of my future cookbook.) This internal voiceover is behind the debate over ingredients and it helps conduct the organization and production of my annual bake-a-thon. Over the course of three to four weeks, I purchase, stock my refrigerator and pantry shelves, review recipes, make copious notes and bake new recipes. I don one of my aprons, prepare my mise en place of the ingredients and equipment I will be needing, and I apply all necessary techniques of which I am so fond.

Baking is so different from cooking. Naturally its cooking, but with a meal, you can toss in some of this or that. With baking, it is like turning your kitchen into a mini laboratory. It’s where the magic happens. When I cook I do experience the flow of a dancing ballerina, but when I bake the food chemist is revealed (figuratively speaking), because everything must be measured precisely, the correct temperature adhered to and then the fundamentals of turning components into something new is endless. You can take butter, eggs, cream, flour, salt, chocolate and a few spices, to create an entire cookbook of delectable desserts. A little baking soda or baking powder is capable of providing the lift of help whenever needed. Magic happens when ingredients you have carefully combined are placed into a preheated oven. Try sitting before the oven window and watch it progressively change before your very eyes. And the aroma that alerts you that it is almost done, is powerful enough to make your mouth water. Sometimes having to let the finished goods cool on a wire rack it almost more than one can bear. This is especially true whenever yeast is used while baking breads.

Copyright © 2014 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.

"Spiral Cut Ham"

“Spiral Cut Ham”

"Round Brownies"

“Round Brownies”

"Chocolate Mousse"

“Chocolate Mousse”

"Angel Food Cake in the pan"

“Angel Food Cake in the pan”

"Honey Oatmeal Bread"

“Honey Oatmeal Bread”

"Retro Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake"

“Retro Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake”

"Angel Food Cake"

“Angel Food Cake”

Over the holidays, my camera was acting up and the dratted thing kept saying battery exhausted and would immediately shut itself off. This provided me with the chance to berate and then later, to cajole and plead with it to behave properly. I did think about putting it into the oven but decided that would be folly indeed.

Here is a list of things I chose to bake:

Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Mousse

Vanilla Pudding

Pistachio Pudding


Honey Oatmeal Bread 

Banana Rum Bread (no nuts)

Mini Cheesecakes w/ Cherry Topping

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Dream Cookies

Snicker Doodle Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Retro Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake

Rum Muffins w/ Heavy Rum Glaze

Rum Cinnamon & Raisin Buns w/ Rum Icing

Gert’s Mama’s Pound Cake

Poppy Seed Cake w/ White Fluffy Icing

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Maple Pecan Muffins

Between family, neighbors and some persons who work with Joe, the holidays were helped along with the joy and work from my kitchen. It is very satisfying to feed others and this act of culinary love is best when shared. I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful time and got to try the goodness from your kitchen and from others, too. So, for an entire week after (being totally overwhelmed) January 6th, I take this time to reflect, sleep and chill out. It’s my mini-vacation and my secret way to relax and unwind. Happy New Year!

Copyright © 2014 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.


8 thoughts on “A Noteworthy Absence

  1. Wow, you sure have been baking mad for a few weeks over there. I’m surprised you didn’t sleep for 2 days solid. Those pictures are making my stomach grumble, they look so tasty.
    I’d love to be able to bake properly but it looks easier than it really is. It’s very hard to get things to rise properly, cook properly etc even when I follow instructions. The bread I once tried to bake came out like to stones of rock hard concrete 😦
    I guess I haven’t got the ‘bakers hand’.

    • I’m certain that you only need proper instruction. Might I suggest a most excellent book? The title is, “The Art & Soul of Baking” written by: Cindy Mushet and sponsored by: Sur La Table. I don’t know if you have these stores in the UK, but they sell awesome cooking and baking tools and utensils, etc. for the kitchen. It happens to be my favorite store. http://www.surlatable.com is their website.

      The thing is I have looked over many, many cookbooks and this one is favorable for anyone trying to cook or bake. It offers introductions and a fabulous glossary of terms. It explains in great detail, the secrets one needs to know before venturing into their kitchen. Reading through and understanding the overview of a recipe beforehand, prepares one to know what to expect and then the outcome will be pretty full proof, as long as the instructions are followed. It retails in the USA $40.00, and it is one book I will always enjoy on my baker’s shelf.

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