Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cooking and Baking and mmmmm

Today was a non-stop busy day.  My older daughter and I started on our long list of baking and managed to get quite a few goodies crossed off the list.  All our cookie doughs are made and are chilling in the refrigerator.  We plan on baking the cookies on Christmas Eve. We also made some delicious presents for Christmas day which were beautifully decorated by my daughter. She is an amazing artist.  It was nice to spend the whole day with her in the kitchen as she normally wouldn't agree to bake with me for an entire day.  She is very much like her dad and brother and would much rather spend the day outdoors working. In fact, I don't think we have ever spent all day cooking together. My younger daughter and I are usually kitchen buddies. She loves to bake and we make fantastic dishes together but today she had an all day swim meet so I was without her expertise in the kitchen.  After I said my sad good-byes to my little swimmer and wished her luck in her swim meet, I turned to my older daughter and gave her my best "wouldn't you LOVE to bake with me today?" look.  It must have worked because she agreed.  Well it must have partially worked, because she is still recovering from her eye surgery and she isn't allowed to do any heavy lifting and she can't go outside at all without glasses and she isn't allowed to be in the wind and well - basically - she was stuck with me anyway.  I ignored all those logical reasons and just chose to believe that in the whole big wide world of ours, my older daughter wanted to do some mommy/daughter bonding with me, and the sound of baking alllll day long with her mommy was like heaven to her. At least that is what I told myself.  I didn't at all listen to the side that said I WANT TO BE OUTSIDE WITH DADDY......even though that side was very vocal and I could hear it standing right next to me as she pounded almonds to a powder like consistency even though I asked for them to be slightly chopped. The funniest part about baking with her, is her precise nature when it comes to cooking.  I am a visual kind of "close enough" baker.  I scoop out what appears to be 1 1/2 cups.  I approximate one tablespoon of this, 1 cup of that.  It is all a feeling.  My daughter, who is a chemistry major, measures everything PRECISELY. She even questioned the actual liquid content of the eggs.  How do I know that the eggs are the right size?  What if you used jumbo size eggs?  Who judges what is a large egg versus what is an extra large egg?  Of course everything she made came out perfectly.  She followed the exact directions and measurements and her food was delicious.  Of course everything I made came out perfectly.  I guessed and threw things together in random order and my food was delicious.  At one point she said that I can NOT cook like that! How did I know what I put in the bowl was 1/3 of a cup???  I said because it looks like 1/3 of a cup.  She made me stop what I was doing, got out a 1/3 measuring cup and scooped my shortening into the measuring cup. I was off by less than a teaspoon. YES! Ha Ha Ha!  That was an awesome moment.  She then went about her very precise ways and left me to my "it looks good to me" ways and we made some delicious baking magic together.  At the end of the day - we were both proud of our accomplishments.  Tomorrow we move on to pies.  I can't wait until she sees how I measure pecans!  A handful here....a handful there..... in the is all mmmmmm good!

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