Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Made From Scratch...That's Not From a Box

I was in the grocery store last night and it got me thinking...I can remember the first thing my grandmother Dorothy taught me to make- Buttermilk Pancakes.  By the time I was 8 1/2 I could whip up Sunday breakfast without a recipe.  I loved cooking breakfast every week for my grandparents; it brought me so much joy to hear my grandpa chuckle every time my pancakes got less runny or less burnt.  Then she progressed into the harder, but family favorites: kringla, cherry pie, cinnamon rolls, cookies, lemon squares, and my Aunt Donna's carmel brownies (which to this day still don't turn out as good as hers! *Secret ingredient?).

Anyone who knew my grandma knew she was one of the best (pie) bakers in Rolfe; however I did not get this gene.  I'm not saying my stuff tasted like crap; matter of fact I almost had my cherry pie go to the State Fair (throwing up that nerd flag!!)  but there was something missing- I didn't enjoy it. 

Attempt to make a cornmeal peach cake last week.  Others said it was good, I wasn't convinced!

I loved baking with my grandma, spending time with her, learning her tricks of the trade BUT you have to have patience- yet again something God and genetics failed to provide.  I remember making cinnamon rolls with her, you had to:
  • make sure the water was warm enough but not to warm that it killed/denatured the yeast
  • mix the dough
  • knead the dough, keeping the perfect amount of air bubbles, while not over kneading
  • let the bread rise. in the sun; no sun.  well you either didn't even start the process at all (we had to wait a few days once in the middle of winter- soo upset haha) or you used the furnace vent (which didn't occur all that often) for 1-2 hours
  • let the dough chill for about 5 minutes-punch it down
  • let the dough rise for like another 1-2 hours
  • finally add yummy cinnamon-sugar butter mixture, roll into log, cut, shape, place in greased 9x 13 pan-let rise another hour (SERIOUSLY!)
  • YAY the oven is finally involved!  Bake oh but you have to let them cool 15mins before you can frost them and another 5 minutes before you can eat them.  And don't get me started if you want pecan sticky rolls. 
How do people have the patience to do that!  That's like a 6 hour process - granted they taste like heaven in your mouth but still. 

Another thing, everyone tries to take their great-great- grandma's pie crust recipe and make it healthy.  WTF?  You can't do that! It changes the whole taste and composition of the dough- failed truth sometimes when a recipe calls for Crisco you just gotta use it--is this why I will always claim a curvy shape- totally okay with that haha!!

Which again got me thinking it really is a bummer I don't enjoy baking.  One of my favorite smells is my grandparents house after my grandma had been baking (which was an every other day occurrence)  Besides my best friend, Mel, would have a ball- girl loves desserts/sweets and I'm sure my roommates would be frustrated by all the temptations being present but would still love the fact our house smelt bomb. 

Sad truth is- I love to cook but I miss the memory of baking.  I wonder if I'll ever gain the enjoyment and share my grandma's best dishes with others. Only time will tell.
My first Sushi making experience :)

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