Sunday, March 7, 2010
Long ago, when our son was a baby, I told my husband I wanted to be a pastry chef. I had to work as a high-powered manager(well, maybe medium-powered, we are in the DC area, there are higher-powered jobs here) to pay the bills, and with two small children, it just wasn't the moment to quit my job and go to pastry chef school.
So I kept cooking at home, sometimes baking custom orders for friends(once I made a real wedding cake - I will never do that again!)
Mr. Hunting Creek said when our youngest was in school, I could quit and go to pastry chef school. But then...lots of other stuff happened. And I couldn't quite get away. And then 9/11 happened and Mr. Hunting Creek was among the thousands of people who were laid off from transportation industry jobs. He started his own business, and it just wasn't the time to be a pastry chef. But I kept on studying on my own and baking away. My family and friends raved about my cookies and breads and cakes and pies. Then came the Global Financial Meltdown, and then I found out that I had M.S., so I think I understand now that the powers that be did not want me to be a pastry chef. But...as my grandmother used to say, when God closes the door, She opens the window. I found this wonderful book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
and it changed my baking life. Because of my M.S., it was difficult for me to knead bread or stand up for hours baking, but I missed making homemade food for my family. Mr. Hunting Creek loves to cook, but he is not a baker. Baking is very exact and precise, and he is more spontaneous. When I found this book and tried the recipes, I was delighted to discover that I could bake bread again, easily, because the techniques taught in the book could be used to allow a person with limited hand strength and stamina to bake amazing bread and pastries with very little effort. It really does take five minutes a day or less. My family is raving over the crusty bread, sandwich bread, sticky buns, fresh brioche (see brioche buns above) and this morning, a Lemon-Blueberry Coffee Cake Ring (also seen above).
Of course if you are a regular, non-handicapped person, it will be even easier for you. So thanks, Zoe and Jeff. If you like to bake, be sure and try the Brioche Ring with Lemon Curd and Blueberries. It was easy to make and it was amazingly delicious.
If I can do it, so can you. :)