I got a little carried away last Thursday.
I had been resisting the urge to bake for weeks. Apparently this is what happens when I keep squashing the siren call to sugar and flour and yeast. When I finally give in, it explodes.
I all started with me doing pantry inventory while making a grocery list. In the back of a shelf I found a can of fruit cocktail. Why? I asked myself. It's not something that is usually in our pantry. And then I remembered. When we were doing the pre-Hurricane Irma grocery shop, trying to find food that required neither cooking nor refrigeration we were really stretching our imaginations. Once past the essentials like M&M's and cookies, we were kind of at a loss. This was our first Hurricane preparedness drill after all. One of the things I grabbed was this can of fruit cocktail. It met all of the requirements, was at least a healthier than most of the rest of what we bought and had a pull top lid. We didn't even require a can opener. Woohoo! It ended up being the only thing we didn't eat.
Of course I checked the date and even though Irma was 8 months ago, it was good. Still, I didn't want to find it on the shelf again in 8 more months so I need to find something to do with it. My first thought was a version of a pineapple upsidedown cake. But somehow I lost my really good recipe for that so I looked online. During my online search, I stumbled across a different recipe for something called Fruit Cocktail cupcakes. Hmmm. Intriguing. I had all the necessary ingredients already on hand. Hurrah! So I made those. They turned out looking pretty darned good. And while they were cooling and I was getting ready to make the boiled icing, Tim wandered into the kitchen to do a little quality control.
Before I could say, 'Wait, they aren't iced yet" he had gobbled one down, refilled his coffee mug and said, "Good Muffins" to me. Hmmm. Not cupcakes, muffins. Okay. I don't need to ice them then. I pronounced them muffins and moved on. While putting the unused ingredients for the unmade and no longer required icing, I found that I had one packet of yeast left and it was short dated. Can't let that go to waste. Now I just needed a recipe for bread that I already have all the ingredients for. I was in full baking mode at that point. Cannot interrupt that for a grocery store trip.
HAH! Found one called Sally Lunn bread. It's supposed to be made in a angel cake pan. But ratz, I no longer had one of those. I considered a regular bundt pan but it isn't deep enough. This is a bread dough that raises. A lot! So, instead of one large loaf I made two slightly shorter ones in regular loaf pans. It turns out that Sally Lunn bread requires two separate rises, each an hour long. Well, I'm not going to waste that time when I'm in complete baking immersion. Of course not.
I rummaged around a little deeper in the pantry and found a bag of mixed morsels, peanut butter and chocolate. Where on earth did this come from? I point the finger at Tim. At Christmas time when we go ingredient shopping, Tim walks along the baking supplies aisle and just puts one bag of everything in the carriage knowing that I will find a way to use whatever it is. AND he also knows that I enjoy creating something new. A challenge! What shall I make? Well I made chocolate chip peanut butter bars and they were awesome. Chewy and gooey and wonderful.
By the time the cookies were done, the bread went in to bake. By the time the cookies were cooled, bagged and tucked into the freezer, the bread was cooling on the counter. By the time the kitchen was cleaned up, the bread was cooled and dinner was started. It was, for me, an absolutely perfect day.
And now here it is, six days later. The cookies are history. Gone. One loaf of bread has been eaten. Most of it became a pretty darned good toasted garlic bread. About half the muffins are still in the freezer, the other half consumed. And this is why I try to resist the urge to bake. If I bake it, we eat it. Apparently we have no self-discipline whatsoever.
Ever hear that old expression about being fat and happy? I think that was us.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.