Having been marooned in the Land of the Sick and Dying for a few days, I’ve now managed to get my life preserver back on and swim for shore. Of course, once I got here I realized that something funny is going on. It’s something that I do when: 1) I’m sad or 2) I have company.
I’m not sad, no really, I’m not. The wee girls are gone and you know what? It’s been kinda nice. The house is clean or at least cleaner. I haven’t yelled, screamed, or sighed in frustration in over two weeks. When I go to bed at night, well, gee, I sleep all night (this is may in part be due to the allergy medication I take).
Yes, I miss those two little blonde tyrants and their endlessly asking, “Why?” I miss their silly laughter and sweet hugs. But there is a certain amount of calm going on around here and frankly, I think we all like it. A lot.
Okay, not sad. Do I have company? Well, no, actually we don’t. You see, we have a very open door policy at our house. From time to time there will be any number of nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, or friends occupying bed space. Mi casa, su casa. Yet, there is actually an empty bed with no one but the cat to claim it (and claim it he has!).
I announced, rather loudly, that after the wee girls were gone that I was taking the month off and I didn’t want anyone under the age of 15 in my house. I know that sounds a bit harsh (or desperate?) but really, it’s been a long ride, down a windy road these last eleven months. Because of this bold proclamation I have missed out on an extended stay from Master W. His mama is a soldier in the Army National Guard (hooah!). This week she’s had extensive training on the coast and thus Master W finds himself with other family members rather than Auntie Ann.
So, no company and I’m not emotionally disturbed (stop it! I am not!) What gives?
Why am I baking?
I love to bake. Really. Love it. And, yeah, I’m good at it too. Everything from a chocolate cake that is eye rolling good to a lemon cake that you’ll want second helpings of, I am that good. I make an oatmeal cookie that people who have politely taken one, reach for a second, third…you get the point. Even my friends who, “don’t do sugar” have demanded to know the recipe to my Apple Kugal.
Earlier this week I was forced to bake. Beloved and the guys went camping over the weekend and upon returning presented me with some very sorry looking bananas. Who can ignore overly ripe bananas? Apparently, not me. So, I whipped up a loaf of the worlds best banana bread (recipe from Alton Brown of the Food Network). Since son wasn’t home, the loaf actually lasted two days (one benefit of having oldest son living an hour from home is that food lasts longer).
Then yesterday, after dropping the Delightful Miss C as her Biology class (where they were dissecting frogs, yum) I scurried home with thoughts of spice cake. Beloved’s grandmother made a spice cake to die for, or at least that is what he keeps telling me. Sadly, I find it dry and it has raisins, eewww. I searched around the internet and my cookbooks, but really couldn’t find a recipe that screamed delicious.
I considered making a key lime pie (Barefoot Contessa) but I only had two limes. Cookies? Nope I was not in a cookie mood since I had just baked four dozen oatmeal cookies for Beloved’s camping trip. Perhaps a wickedly chocolate brownie? I’ve got a recipe for a brownie that makes my family sigh with delight. But, no, I didn’t feel like a brownie.
Which left me only one choice:
I learned to make Kugal from my Orthodox Jewish neighbor over twelve years ago. This is the same woman who attempted to teach me how to make Challah bread, she was sadly disappointed. The art of bread baking has escaped me and other than cinnamon rolls at Christmas, I stay away from yeast. But I bake a mean Kugal.
So, while beef stroganoff simmered on the stove top, my blueberry Kugal baked in the oven, filling the house with a delicious, unmistakable aroma.
BUT WHY AM I BAKING?
I’m sick and I’m baking or am I baking and I’m sick? There’s something funny going on here and I can’t put my finger on it.
Oh well, guess I’ll have a cup of tea and a slice of Kugal while I ponder the possibilities of a homemade Key Lime Pie.