I baked cookies yesterday. Hold your applause. They were just oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cookies are like the Blue Apron of the baking world. No thought required. The most difficult step is finding the measuring cups.
You all already know I enjoy my time in the kitchen but it’s almost always cooking. Baking is a whole different animal. It requires measuring stuff, preheating the oven, using the timer even. As a person who spent his whole career in a regimented, scientific occupation you’d think the most comfortable thing I could do in the kitchen is fall into the baking regimen. Nope, I prefer the loosey-goosey world of cooking.
Maybe that’s because I enjoy the freedom of modifying the dish I’m working on based on what’s fresh, what’s handy, what’s tasting good. Maybe it’s because most of the dishes I started out cooking were family recipes which changed as the family moved from Italy to America and ingredients changed based on what was available. Or maybe it was because some of those recipes were written in a combination of Italian and English and we weren’t always sure what was supposed to go into that pot so we improvised.
Or maybe that’s because it’s just the way I’m wired.
While I was deciding if I wanted to weigh or measure my dry ingredients I did some thinking about just that. Does our personality reflect our cooking style – and shouldn’t it also compare to our chosen lifestyle? Here’s what I came up with. . . . Maybe.
Take me for the first example. Even though I decided on keeping the wolves from my door in the highly regulated, policed, and exacting world of health care I tend to keep most of the rest of my life in the “let’s see what’s up” end of the spectrum. Back in the day when I actually made plans my idea of making plans (unless it involved non-refundable air fare), was “hey I heard about blah-blah-blah on the radio this morning, let’s go!” Thus my life in the kitchen is more a matter of “hmm, I wonder what’s in the refrigerator that hasn’t changed color yet, let’s eat!” And 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will be good.
Consider the ex. I’ll not be bad-mouthing anybody here. I’m just using her as an example. Her idea of spontaneous was using only two sources of information for research on a place, restaurant, movie, or wall-covering. But boy could she bake. Pies, cakes, breads, cookies. If it involved a rolling pin (no, I won’t go there), she had it mastered.
Now, let’s look at the daughter. The mix of the aforementioned Thing One and Thing Two. On one hand she’s creative enough to have selected one of the most imaginative fields you can imagine to make a living at and is making a living at it. On the other, she’s making a living at it by working for herself and manages to handle all the requirements of self-employment successfully enough to still make a living at it. Her style in the kitchen? She can bake a mall-worthy cinnamon roll in the morning and finesse her way through a dinner for four with whatever might be in the pantry after not shopping for two weeks in the evening. Living at both poles and baking and cooking with aplomb.
I guess that’s make her sort of a hybrid.
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?