I was looking through some of Maria's posts to see what she has been up to. And discovered that she has been doing a whole lot of baking plus a whole lot of other fun things. I saw in one of her posts that she wanted me to come back, and that I didn't have to use the raisins. Ha!
Maria: You say that you need motive and opportunity to bake -- and that part of opportunity is the opportunity to foist your baked goods off onto people. My problem is that I haven't really had a whole lot of motive or opportunity. I'm not sure which is more lacking. Motive. I really do love desserts. And I find I have been buying desserts lately, which means that I need to get back to baking. But I just can't seem to find the motivation to do it. I'm not sure why. Maybe because you are so far ahead of me that I will never be able to catch up. But maybe it is more because of the second factor: Opportunity.
I just never seem to have an opportunity to do any baking lately. The weekdays are out unless I REALLY need to have something baked for an event. I just get home too late to imagine doing much more than making dinner (I do make dinner though, every night). And the weekends are packed so full so stuff that there is never time for baking. And then the second part of opportunity: when I make something that feeds a lot of people, I don't have a lot of people to feed it to! Now Maddy is leaving for college and I no longer have the ability to send her to school with all of my baked goods. Natalie might take them, but it's different. Possibly I can ship baked goods to Humboldt. I'll have to look into that. That might lead to motive . . .
I have had some opportunities to make some of the things on my lengthening list. I don't even think I can remember much about them. I finished off the Ginger Snap recipes by making Whole Wheat Gingersnaps. They were alright. I don't remember them being anything to write home about. But I have really never found a ginger snap cookie I like better than Trader Joe's Triple Ginger cookies, so it's hard for me to make them.
I also made Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies. Don't really remember them. Guess that was a while ago.
Maddy made David's Cookies and brought them to school with her. I never tasted them, but apparently her class loved them.
I made the Texas Truffles. These were fun but messy to make. And they wasted a huge number of pecans. I loved these for the first day. After that I kept trying to eat them. I foisted them off onto Sam's softball team, and never heard whether they liked them or not. These were awfully sweet.
I made the New York State Apple Cobbler. This was one of my favorite desserts so far. I loved the cheddar with the apples, and I really love apple cobbler. I ate giant quantities of this dessert and didn't want to share it with anybody. Even Pete liked this dessert. I'm sure another Pete -- Pete Cogswell -- would have loved this as well.
I made the Miami Beach Sour Cream Cake. It's funny. I clearly remember making this cake. I remember carefully pouring the syrup over the cake and I remember how heavy it was. But I don't remember what happened to it. Maybe I brought it camping.
I made the 8-hour Cheesecake. I did bake it for 8 hours and it came out perfect in every way. That was a very popular dessert with Pete and Maddy.
I made the Blackberry Pie. This is my very favorite recipe, hands down, that I have made from Maida's cookbooks. I have made it so often that the pages are completely disgusting. I am going to admit here that I cheated when I made this pie and used a frozen pie crust I had bought for a quiche or something because I lacked OPPORTUNITY to make pie crust (I had just about an hour to make this pie -- and it bakes for an hour). As usual, I loved this pie!
And I made Cristina's Brownies. Man that recipe makes a lot of brownies. I can't really imagine ever giving anybody a brownie the size that Maida recommends these be cut into. I cut them in half, and they still looked awfully large. These were taken by Maddy to her last day of high school party, and apparently were very popular. Fortunately, Natalie and I rescued some so we were all able to enjoy the brownies.
Maria will be in the States for a few weeks. Maybe she won't be able to bake during that time period. Maybe I should take over for her for a few weeks. Although looking at my calendar, I'm not really seeing much opportunity!