Sunday, December 6, 2009

Post-sickness baking

So the last few posts have talked about how I've been sick. Well, it's been a month now. On Monday it started getting tough to breathe, so I decided to go to the doctor. I had to wear one of those masks (like when you get SARS) in the health center. I felt pretty stupid. Anyway, they told me I had an upper respiratory infection. After 2 1/2 days in bed, antibiotics, an inhaler, Mucinex, snuggling with the kitty and a whole lot of Kleenexes, I felt better on Friday. Not exactly the best time to be sick, but what can I do. And, it's senior year, so I'm considerably less concerned about grades. Probably the wrong attitude. Oh well.

So Friday I started to bake. A lot. I had a few days to make up, after all, so I started making some favorites. Lemon bars (for Drew and Co.), pumpkin bread (for Stephen and Co.) and pizzelles. I had press club later, and then people came over for games, so I had enough people over that I could bake that much. We played Catchphrase for three hours. You could tell we were playing with journalism kids. For "Who's who": "Blank blank at KU!" and another, describing one that was a gerund. It was super fun though.

The lemon bars are the old faithful recipe from Martha Stewart that is just perfect, but how it works hardly makes sense. The crust is really strange, as in, you grate butter into your dry ingredients, push it into a pan, freeze it and then bake it. They sure end up yummy, though. The crust is half the bar, but it doesn't taste that way. This is easily one of my favorite things to make.

Then there's the pumpkin bread, a two-loaf recipe. I found the recipe on, and it ends up tasting great, but there's one huge problem. The recipe says bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, and it definitely takes 50 minutes to an hour. Can't these people count? The pumpkin loaves made an exit when Stephen returned after Catchphrase with three hungry lacrosse friends. Neither Drew nor I like pumpkin bread, but everyone else seems to, so Stephen took the loaves.

The last recipe is of pizzelles (see the Wikipedia article). They're Italian cookies that almost taste like a waffle cone and are super thin with designs on them. You have to have a special iron (like a waffle iron) to make them, which I have. These have kind of a family history with me. My not-really-grandma Mildred, who is my aunt-through-marriage's mother, makes them every Christmas and sends them to my grandma in an old ice cream container. I steal a few each time, and finally I just asked my aunt for the recipe. It's incredibly simple and only has six ingredients: margarine, eggs (a whole bunch of them!), sugar, flour, baking powder and flavoring. I usually make vanilla, but Mildred makes anise-flavored. The annoying part about these cookies is they make forever to make. The iron only has a spot for two cookies at a time, and it's a pretty huge recipe.

The cookies were a hit though, and I'm thinking of making lemon-flavored ones for the first time tonight. It's strange; I had two papers due Friday and now have almost nothing till finals. It's winding down and I'm finding I have free time. It's definitely a foreign feeling. So last night I watched a musical last night I'd never seen: Meet Me in St. Louis. I absolutely LOVE musicals. My mom is an organist/choir director/carillonneur, and my dad played in KU's marching band, so music is pretty much how I grew up. Music Man, Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, etc. Meet Me in St. Louis was a Judy Garland one, and I'd forgotten how unbelievable her voice was. A good movie all around. My other new discovery: the Boomerang channel and Cartoon Network. They play the Flintstones, the Jetsons, and Cartoon Network is bringing back Looney Tunes. I'm DVR-ing it.

Anyway, we'll see how much I decide to bake this week. I think it will be a fair amount, because I have a lot of free time at night this week. Another consideration of something to make: oatmeal cream cheese butterscotch bars.

1 comment:

  1. What instrument did your dad play? I did not know he was in the marching band.

    Freezing the butter first affects when exactly it melts. I have a Cook's article on biscuits, and they emphasized to use COLD butter and don't handle it much because you don't want to melt the butter prematurely. It is to melt slowly while it bakes, and leave little empty pockets behind it.


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