Monday, August 12, 2013

Loves to Bake. Not a Baker.

You might have guessed from the title of this post that I am still solidly off the wagon.

Today I made peanut butter cookies. You know what goes good with peanut butter cookies? Wine.

Houston? We have a problem.

I have loved baking things for a long time. I also happen to LOVE to cook. But it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized that most people are either really good bakers or they are really good cooks. The reason most people aren't awesome at both is because the approach to these two things is completely different.

My sister, Katy, is an unbelievable baker. You might be familiar with her cookie art, which, in my opinion is the best you can find. If you live in Nashville and you need cookies for a special occasion, let me know. I'll hook you up. If you can think it, she can cookie it. Obviously, I'm biased towards her as a person, but I don't mess around when it comes to cookies. Not only do hers look amazing, they taste amazing, too.

The reason that Katy is an amazing baker is because deep in her heart she's a scientist. She's precise, meticulous, ridiculously patient, and a perfectionist. Believe me, I know. I've been a major partaker in delicious cast-offs. Bakers are like this:

I am not this. In fact, I'm pretty much the opposite of this. And I've learned to embrace it as a good thing. When Paula Deen (scandal alert) got her start, she was on a show called Door Knock Dinners. The basic premise of the show was that Gordon Elliot (I'm a sucker for Brits-who grew up in Australia. Whatever.) and an up-and-coming food personality would show up at someone's door, pilfer their pantry, and come up with a delicious dinner. I swear I could be on that show.

I'm not trying to brag. Clearly, we are all aware of my many foibles. But one thing I'm pretty darn good at is making do in the kitchen. I can make a meal out of all kinds of random items and mama ain't afraid to throw some random spices in the pot on a whim. Sometimes the contents of my pantry/fridge swim around in my head all day. When it's finally time to cook (assuming there isn't a plan already in place) I'm just as happy as I can be. A cook is more like this:

Last night I texted Katy about what would happen if I substituted brown sugar for white sugar in a cookie recipe. Basically, my requirement is "will my family eat it". I wasn't planning on baking for an audience. (FYI-you can substitute. There's more to it but...) When I got busy on the cookies this morning, my inner cook came out. I tasted the dough, didn't love it and went all Swedish Chef throwing things at random into the bowl until "it tasted right".  I wasn't sure AT ALL what the end result would be. You will be happy to know that I did read the recipe all the way through and managed to get the dough chilled in time for an after school snack. Were they the best peanut butter cookies I've ever had. Definitely not. They did earn me "you're the best mom ever" from both kids (I think they will both be cooks as well. Not a very refined palate on either one of them...) 

Also? Did I mention the wine?

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