Contentment from Scratch

13 Jul

Making sweet things was my first kitchen love, and I’ve tried not to neglect my relationship with sugar since I’ve been here. Apart from rice pudding, I’ve made two batches of pancakes.

The first was from the crate of produce from my landlord. We had no time to eat them because the frozen fish was on top of them and they turned immediately.The second batch was because I bought some organic bananas, and I learned that they ripen a lot faster than regular ones, I guess because they’re not pumped with chemicals. I love banana pancakes even more than regular ones, especially the way my grandmother makes them – with crispy edges and lots of sugar so you don’t need syrup (I think she started making them that way because my granddad doesn’t like syrup, but I’m not sure).  Well I found out from an aunt a while ago that you can get the crispy effect by frying the pancakes in butter rather than oil. But another characteristic of my grandmother’s pancakes is that they’re very flat.

I had no idea how they came out like that until I was looking up recipes to get the ratios right and realised that I had no kind of leavener (baking soda or powder) I was like well, I guess I’m going to have to go without!  And voila, came out just like my grandmother’s! hahaha. I don’t know if the lack of leavener was a result of her not having any / not thinking it was necessary / absentmindedness, but I really like it.  People might find it strange that I prefer my pancakes sweet, doughy and cold (!), but hey, to each his own right? Plus, can you think of a better way for a poor college student to stretch her pocket and be as satisfied with the results? These pancakes right here are a twofer,  sentimental value and singing tastebuds :)

Something I did make normally was a batch of cookies. I went to visit a friend of mine in Northern VA, and it was quite an ordeal to get there.

fun times :)

I was supposed to meet her for an early breakfast but ended up getting there at lunch time :| We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with watermelon and raspberries at her poolside though, which was lovely. To help kill time and put me in an even better mood, I suggested we make cookies. From scratch? My friend wondered. Of course! This is me we’re talking about. We ended up creating the oatmeal, coconut and pecan cookie, which is delicious if I may say so.

Speaking of cookies, just last night my apartment-mate made a batch of her own, with a delicious secret ingredient that I won’t reveal here because I’m going to steal it! Muahahahaha! Anyways, they were chocolate chip with almonds on top.

chocolate almond cookies

She made about 4 batches (they were to take to her office) and had a little problem with some of them regarding consistency (some were a little softer than she would have liked) appearance (a couple batches spread more than she would have liked) and one batch had a taste glitch. But even though she was frustrated that they weren’t perfect little plump and round cookies, I found them quite yummy.

Baking just makes me so happy; I don’t even have to eat whatever it is I’ve made. In fact, half of the fun is in giving the results away! It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in to begin with, I cream, fold, whip and knead all my frustration away, and watch as right before my eyes powdery, fatty and liquid substances come together to make something altogether unexpected. The final product never fails to make me smile, even if it’s an epic fail, I can laugh about it. From start to finish, the exercise brings me contentment :)

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