Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday - Baking

I don't do as much baking as I used to. I love baking, but I love eating it even more. Baking is now done about as often as I wear my vintage aprons...for large special occasions.

My mother was an excellent baker. She was known especially for her chocolate cakes. The picture is nothing like my Mum's cakes. There were no layers and no nuts...this was a cake baked every time for gussying things up!

Every one of our friends knew that there would be chocolate cake at our house, which in the end prompted some pretty bizarre "saving" tactics. The slices served at dinner became smaller, and it became increasingly harder to find where the cakes were kept, as they now had to be "hidden" to avoid overeating.

We had a lower corner cupboard with a swivel shelf. Hiding place number one. This proved waaay too easy for those of us in the family who were adept "finders" know the sort of kid who can find the Christmas presents, unwrap and re-wrap them with little evidence (guilty).

The next place was still in the twirly cupboard but enclosed in an electric frying pan which had to be physically removed from the cupboard (heavy) and the lid removed (noisy) to get that "one more piece". This ended up being not such a good idea, as there was always a little lingering waft of bacon on the cake no matter how well you washed the frying pan! So, in my mother's infinite "slydom".....she resorted to the dishwasher! She finally got a dishwasher after years and years of tea-towel-snapping-good-fun, but rarely used it for doing up the evening dishes....more like my apron...for big family occasions. It was unheard of to use "the machine" with only a few dishes, much less to leave dirty dishes for another day.

This Christmas, I decided to bake one of my friends famous "Blueberry Cheesecake" recipes. One year I had received one of these confections as a gift, loved it, and since we were expecting visitors, I decided this would be a really fresh and decidedly different little sweet. The recipe called for quite a bit of butter in the crust. While it looked a bit odd, I had total confidence in my friends culinary abilities and followed it to the "teaspoon". After putting out the fire in the oven from the drippings on the burners, I found out that as in most recipes the cook has done it for so long they neglect to tell you that OOPS....oh yes, I always use much less!!!! Thanks Irene :) The cheesecake turned out perfectly after the crust incident, the guests had to cancel, and I ate the entire thing...some the next day, most of it from the freezer. That's another of my 'talents'. I can eat anything in the dessert line frozen! No need to take time to thaw. Today is Saturday. I'm off gallivanting with the cheesecake lady, so there may be baking involved, but it will likely be our choice through a sunny window in Bloor West Village. I know just the place!

1 comment:

  1. My mother loved to bake also. It wasn't chocolate cake, it was apple cake or honey cake. We had it so frequently that to this day I can't bring myself to bake a honey cake. So this Christmas, when all my mother's friends were expecting there gifted honey cake, I was forced to make it with my aged mother. I could not believe how much time it took to make this cake that was not worth it. My mother was delighted that her friends were not disappointed. And while I enjoyed baking with my mom, I still don't like honey cake.