Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why we cook: A note before vacation

The clock is ticking until I board the plane for two glorious weeks of vacation. I have no new recipe to share (my August DB challenge is all ready to post if I can find a computer in Spain). Instead, I have a few thoughts on a recent baking endeavor...

Imagine this: 90+ degrees outside; humidity over 80%. My hair tied back in a frizzy mess as I crank the oven to 400 and get started on Mom's birthday cake. The chocolate buttercream can come out of the fridge for just minutes at a time or I risk having chocolate soup on my hands. 6 layers of cake go into the oven, one at a time. As I pull one of them out, a blast of heat comes from the oven, burning my eyelashes. Not a pleasant feeling, that's for sure.

So why bother? Why do so many cooks labor though conditions like this when there's a bakery just around the corner?

A few hours later, cake at a safe room temperature for buttercream, I light the candles and watch as my little niece nearly scrambles onto the table to help grandma blow them out. The fascination in her eyes is something only a child can possess. But wait, it gets better.

The fork is pushed aside as she takes one finger to scoop some chocolate frosting. Into the mouth it goes and then two fingers reach out for more. Soon she's using her whole hand, smiling as bright and wide as can be...

This is why we cook. I know I forget sometimes, so my thanks go to my two year-old niece for reminding me. I'll make her chocolate cake in any weather as long as that smile comes with it.

10 comments:

Miranda said...

I found your site from foodbuzz and it is terrific!
I just got back from an amazing vacationa and I hope you have fun too!!!

I can't wait to see the recipes you come up with when you return!!!

myblissfulbites said...

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. A great reminder.

Enjoy your vacation :)

Divina Pe said...

Thanks for the reminder too.

Julie (Willow Bird Baking) said...

I love the sweet story that came along with your sweet Dobos Torte <3

John D. said...

Great story! That just sums things up nicely.

Audax said...

Yes you are so right and that photo brings tears to my eyes. Hope the trip goes well for you. Audax

ice tea: sugar high said...

What a cutie!! your niece is adorable! Slaving in the kitchen will surely be worth while to be rewarded by her smile. Great job on the challenge & glad that your mum and the rest of the family enjoyed the cake.

Karen said...

Yep. You nailed it. That's exactly why I cook too. Thannk you for the wonderful post, and have a great vacation!

Mhel said...

I agree. Wonderful story to read. Thanks for reminding us the joy of cooking is not only about accomplishing in creating something from your kitchen into something fanciful in your plate, but being able to share that joy with our loved ones as well.... love ur blog....

ladyberd said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. It really is worth the effort when people enjoy your cooking!

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