I've had a break from baking for a while. It's been crazy busy, mainly because I'm STILL sort of sick. Ugh. The cold weather brought a relapse. But have no fear, my baking came back this week.
This was supposed to be my slow week. Only one assignment due, and basic math at that. So I planned baking for Sunday. During the day I drove back to Salina to surprise my Grandma, who turned 89 (!) on Monday. She's a pretty great lady. There aren't many people left in the world who can say they grew up during the Great Depression with a widowed mother who baked to support her kids. Grandma graduated from college in 1942 and was married in 1944, so she's totally from a different time period. Married for more than 50 years until my grandfather died. Endured the death of one of her children. Born in far western Kansas. It's a little baffling to me when I think of how many years she's seen. I'm her youngest grandchild, and she was there for me when my parents split. If there's one thing grandparents are good for, it's backing up everything you say and think.
Anyway, I spent a bunch of time with Grandma in high school, but since coming to college I see her very little. I hadn't seen her since July when a friend from high school died. I'm not going back for Thanksgiving, and after a hard couple of weeks, I really needed some Grandma time. So I drove the 2ish hours Sunday morning to surprise her with balloons, Brookville chicken and some quality birthday time.
I was going to bake when I got home, but was really tired. So Monday night, I embarked on an experiment of pomegranate velvet cupcakes with pomegranate cream cheese frosting (in honor of national pomegranate month). It was the weirdest batter ever...all fluffy and stuff. Until I realized that I hadn't added the final ingredient of heavy cream...after filling about 16 cupcake papers. The cream cheese frosting might be my favorite frosting ever. Cream cheese, butter, pomegranate juice (reduced to syrup) and LOTS of powdered sugar. Tart but sweet. So so good.
I brought the cupcakes into the newsroom at about noon. Not even kidding, they were all gone in about 15 minutes. All 24 or so.
Then yesterday I was going to go bake bread with my aunt. I experimented with bread for the first time a couple months ago and only partially succeeded. Tasted like bread but wasn't light and airy. Too dense because I don't think I kneaded it right, and she was going to teach me how. Then there was breaking news, and all that went down the drain.
So tonight I took it easy and made dinner (chili and a celery and water chestnut skillet) and oatmeal scotchies, a classic. I used to make them with Mom all the time, but these turned out really well.
I'm thinking about baking a pie for Thanksgiving at Drew's. His grandma makes a mean apple pie, but I'm thinking I might go ahead and bring some of my desserts too :)