For the longest time I’ve been intrigued by the notion of hobbies. And what mine are. Because I don’t appear to have any.
Piano has long ceased to be a hobby, if it ever was in the first place. Reading, I put in the same category – I do it because I love it, but I could no more stop than I could breathing. Cooking is nice, and I like it, but it’s not a hobby – I cook because I have to, so why not make it enjoyable? And why cook something that tastes like crap? Apparently I just don’t have anything that fits in the “hobby” categories: do it for fun, in my spare time, semi-regularly.
Except baking. I love baking. And the hardcore stuff – none of this boxed brownie nonsense. I make pastry. From scratch, butter and flour, on a pastry board with a rolling pin, hand-kneaded, yeast-risen, half-day long projects of flaky goodness. I make tarts, cookies, pies. I’ve made cinnamon rolls, cream puffs, bread, cakes, you name it. All by hand, all from scratch.
It all started out with that one tart recipe. Then I bought the most amazing pastry book ever. My mixer is my favorite appliance. My pastry board is the underside of a wooden meat carving board, smoothed with a dough scraper. I have dinosaur cookie cutters; I have a nested set of glass mixing bowls, a French rolling pin, and a digital food scale. I even bought a candy thermometer – so now, not only can I make proper caramel, I can fry things. I can make donuts.
The only problem? With the (major) exception of fruit pies/tarts, I don’t have a sweet tooth. That’s right – I just don’t eat this stuff. So every once in a while I’ll get a craving for something like cinnamon rolls. I’ll spend most of Saturday afternoon making them. They’ll come out all warm and gooey and delicious. And then I’ll step back and go, “What the deuce am I going to do with a dozen of these things? I only want, like, three of them.”
So, I guess what I’m saying is, let me know if you want to be on the distribution list for warm delicious baked goods. Because the urge is striking again, and soon I am going to attempt something awesome from the pastry book, and if it works I will have a major surplus of tasty pastries.
No, I’m not telling you what it is yet. It’s pastry, what else do you need to know?