Thursday, December 15, 2005

The obedient cook

I spent my evening making Oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. I filled the cookie jar for the family, and enjoyed a few when they were still oven hot and soft. The rest I'll be delivering to clients tomorrow. There's something very grounding about baking. I love the precision of it, the exact mix of ingredients and the right temperature for the right amount of time, et voila, deliciousness.

Generally, I'm not a color inside the lines person, but when I cook, I enjoy that. I tend to overthink everything, and following a recipe frees me from that. I get the chance to step out of my head and into my senses. I can see and taste when the cup of butter and the cup of brown sugar have been mixed to just the right consistency. I'm so in the moment that I know if I'm adding the oatmeal and flour at just the right pace. I trust my senses and actions, and if the dish doesn't turn out right, I know it's the recipe and not me. I've burned a dish or two over the years, but for the most part, when I follow the directions, the eating is good. I admire creative cooks who can stand before an open pantry and come up with new dishes and entire meals, but that's just not one of my talents. I've tried it, and the stress is just more than I want, so I follow the route that lets my creative energy flow to where it's best suited.

I like discovering my own directions for my life and for how I spend my time. I like the unexpected turns I find when I write. I like how I surprise people who think they have my personality pegged. Following directions in the kitchen gives me a little more mental energy to do those things. I'll appreciate those moments of just being and following in the kitchen and enjoy a bit of consistency in the results. I think if I did that anywhere else though, I'd get terribly bored, but it's nice to know that I do have this bit of balance.


Blogger alphawoman said...

I can just smell those cookies!! I have a friend who went into my kitchen and cooked up the most delicious meal with just stuff I had around, eggs, turkey-sausage, onions, salsa....I still remember how astonished I was! When it comes to baking, I color in the lines.....everything else I improvise!

December 16, 2005 8:36 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

These days, I generally start out with a recipe, then, after I make it a few times, I can add or subtract ingredients to improve the result.

I used to be a dismal cook. Now (considering what I do for a living) the recipes I make up are almost better than any I find anywhere else. Ship me one of those cookies, will ya? After I weigh in next Tuesday... :)

December 16, 2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger kas said...

I love baking too...those cookies sound delicious. I'm a by the book baker and cook. I do not have the talent to experient.

December 16, 2005 4:53 PM  
Blogger ckays1967 said...

Generally, I'm not a color inside the lines person, but when I cook, I enjoy that.

Oddly enough...I cook without following the directions...Ijust make it up.


December 16, 2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Okay...I stopped by again because I wanted to see if my new profile photo shows up. Might as well use up YOUR comment space...LOL!

December 17, 2005 1:48 AM  

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