Monday, July 18, 2011

Cucina di Kate

I tried to make a pie on Saturday.  It looked really pretty, and the flavor was excellent.  Unfortunately, the contents were more like peach soup than pie filling.  On Sunday, following the ill-fated pie adventure, I baked bread entirely from scratch.  The bread turned out wonderfully (if we can forgive a little blow-out on the side, I learned later that I should have let the formed loaf rise for a little while before I put the bread in the oven).  Baking is so amazing.  I would not suggest that it is easy; time and patience are a must, and your hands get messy.  And if you are like me, so does everything else – clumsiness and flour are not an ideal combination!

I am discovering that some of the most amazing tastes are possible with just a handful of ingredients.  A loaf of bread requires, yeast, flour, salt, sugar, and water.  A pie crust includes flour, salt, shortening, and water; pie filling adds only three more ingredients (I will add a fourth next time – I think I learned why I got soup).  More fascinating still, from a menu of just a few ingredients, there are literally thousands of possible recipes depending how you combine, process, and prepare the components.  The only requirements are time and devotion – a little patience is also helpful.

With a handful of ingredients, patience, devotion, and time, literally anything is possible.  Sound familiar?

I am a good cook, but for years I avoided baking.  It was scary; so regimented and complex.  There were steps that had to be followed and measurements that had to be made.  External conditions – things I did not control – like altitude and humidity could reduce the most perfect preparation to failure.  It felt more like chemistry than art, and I never liked science class.  As scary as it once seemed, though, I have discovered that I love baking. 

There are steps involved, and it does require patience; but the results – even the unexpected ones – can be amazing and wonderful.  By giving my time, my devotion to the process, and then stepping back and letting the ingredients and nature take over; I allow for great things to happen.  The key is that I do not control the outcome.  Like so many things in life, I am part of the dance, but there are countless other elements with which I must share credit (or blame) for the ultimate creation.  Sometimes, those elements become bread, and sometimes those elements turn into peach soup.  But no matter the end result, there is always something to learn and something to share.

Baking is a beautiful metaphor for life… and for transition.

My Baking Projects - aren't they just adorable?

Take care!


  1. The souffle that is my life has fallen.

    Your cooking looks great. We will have to trust your judgment on flavor. Better eating through chemistry!

  2. What happened Leslie Ann???

    Oh, and don't trust just my tastes... I've got a house full of folks begging for more! ;) Thanks for the comment.

    Take care,


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