Friday, April 29, 2011

Sometimes a girl just needs to bake....and bake...and bake....

I'm not sure where it starts, not always from hunger, not always from gluttony, there is something inside me that bubbles to the surface on occasion and just demands that I get my hands stuck into flour and butter and chocolate and create something. Today was one of those days.
So I had the motive, now for the means; well today I had the kitchen to myself a few spare hours in the afternoon. Lastly the opportunity, today was the royal wedding and Mum was having our neighbour over for a dinner and viewing party so I had the perfect time to bake and have it eaten and enjoyed.

Into the kitchen of 'The Burrow' (my affectionate name for our house) I went and here is what I came up with:

- Shortbread hearts
- Chunky chocolate and muesli cookies

- Smoked salmon
- Sliced avocado
- Feta, sundried tomato and olive petite tarte tatins
- Salad of blanched asparagus spears, toasted almonds, feta, artichoke hearts and mixed baby greens with olive oil dressing

Now for the photos.

Chocolate chunk muesli cookies:

Shortbread (hearts for Mum and wedges for Dad)

Tarte Tatins and salad

I love to be able to cook for others; to be able to provide for those you love on such a vital and basic level is one of the purest expressions of love in my opinion. Although I certainly enjoy tasting the fruits of my labour it is the labour itself that brings me the most joy; taking something as basic as flour and butter and transforming it into shortbread, and seeing the pleasure on other's faces when they take that first buttery bite warms my soul. The community of a meal plays a large part in the enjoyment of cooking and sharing a meal is the surest way to bring a group of people together. Whatever your differences, politics, religion, football teams; when you break bread (or lavash or pita or tortilla) with someone else there is an instant bond and other matters can be put aside for even just a moment.
I must admit there is something selfish in this for me. I love the way people can feel what you have given of yourself in taking time to cook, and the way they are grateful that you have provided for them in that way. Food represents nourishment; of soul or stomach, it represents effort and time in planting, harvesting, and cooking, and food represents love. For me, baking and food would mean little without having someone to share the final product with.
Epicurus said it more aptly than I could:
We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink...

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