Baking bliss

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Relaxed on a soft couch with the log burner flamed up to my left, A sitting close to my right. Moroccan mint tea glass in my hands and heads hovering together over a piece of sticky orange almond cake on the small round table in between us... What a perfect Winter evening!

If only this was our living room. Our couch is still goodness knows where, we can't wait for it to arrive hopefully next week, the last major puzzle piece to complete our humble abode. We put up the curtains in the living room today, and the first coat of varnish on the laundry counter we made the other week - it stank horribly with the intention of seeping its perfume into the drying clothes that we had to rescue them to the currently bare living area. DIY projects are expected to continue for a few more weekends yet. 

In between A cursing while drilling holes here and there, I've formed a more relaxing habit of baking on Sunday afternoons. It's usually a two bakes a go event, starting with the homemade muesli that goes into two containers, a week's worth of breakfasts at work for two. The latter baking is more experimental. It's been an alternative to the favourite go-to banana cake for a couple of Sundays, before A expressed that he's had enough with the lemon-blueberry combination. One Sunday I baked enough small loaves of ciabatta to last us the whole week of soup dinners. Then there was our friend T's family recipe of classic cannelés bordelais, a bite sized regional French pastry that might require a few trials before I get it right. On my first trial they came out in all sorts of heights and varying degrees of brown to burnt-ness. The second trial involved a more gourmet recipe featuring blueberries, and I'm happy to say, it's a slight improvement. Practice makes perfect. Our blueberry stock is slowly dropping. 

The (approximate) measurements, adding different ingredients in then mixing them into a consistent fluidy batter is fun, each baking session like an experiment in a lab. The wafts of warmth rising from the oven is satisfying, the first bite expectant and its result pleasant and often encouraging to experiment with more variations. 

The couch might not have arrived yet but the oven is keeping me warm and busy. What shall I bake next weekend?

Image by Unsplash/Andy Chilton

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“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
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