One blog to rule them all
"30-Day Blogging Challenge" | May 4
If cooking and/or baking were a D/s relationship, I'd definitely be an /s. Based on past experiences ruining any number of dishes that I've attempted, I long since gave up the notion that I was in any way a culinary leader with any kind of a coherent vision. Or, you know, even the basic ability to improvise. I get cold sweats at being told to "season to taste." What does that even mean? Does that mean I should dump half a jar of cayenne pepper into my chili, or the whole thing? Should I use basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary in my pasta sauce... or all four at the same time? Since I just guessed at how long to cook it and at what temperature, what pairs well with a medium-raw salmon filet?
No, give me a domineering recipe to lead me around on all fours, desperate to please. When you tell me exactly what to do, I can make passable food. And by passable food, I mean it's edible, and on rare occasion, somewhat resembles the picture that came with the recipe.
The irony is, I actually do really like cooking and baking. The cleaning up afterward, not so much. But there is something supremely satisfying about following a recipe and, twenty minutes, a half hour, an hour later, having a finished dish that can be eaten and appreciated. And most of my family members and friends love food, so it's really nice to be able to create something that they can enjoy immediately (assuming the recipe doesn't tell me to season to taste, of course), rather than waiting days or weeks or months for a piece of writing, which then has to be consumed individually. It's an entirely different experience and sense of satisfaction to be able to feed someone dinner, or bring a cake to a party.
Speaking of cake, that's the thing I'm most proud of making recently. Years and years ago, I found out my then-boss and mentor had a birthday. I was a broke assistant at the time, so rather than buying him a gift, I made him a cake from scratch following a recipe I had in a cookbook. The next year, I was still a broke assistant, so I looked up a new recipe and did the same. That was fifteen years ago, and even though we both moved on to other jobs at different companies, I still bring him a cake every year on his birthday. His birthday happens to be the day before mine, so it's a little hard to forget. Some years have just been a basic cake mix due to time constraints... and last year was the first time I had to actually buy a cake due to a number of unfortunate events. I was on track to still make the cake despite having make an unexpected trip to the hospital when our infant developed a fever... but just couldn't pull it together after we realized our refrigerator also died that day and the eggs, milk, and other perishables didn't survive. Still, for most years, I'm able to find a new and interesting recipe and make him a cake from scratch every year on his birthday.
Some cakes that have been attempted over the years:
White chocolate cake with white chocolate fudge frosting
Masala chai tea cake with chai frosting
Chocolate brownie cake with mint chip frosting
Cookies 'n Cream cake with Cookies 'n Cream frosting and Oreo crumble
Dark chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling and raspberry frosting