The uncontrolable urge to bake

I don’t know when it happened, but I slipped down a very dangerous slope a few months ago and now I am one terrifyingly step close to becoming my mother.

There are various stages to “Going Vickie” as my sister and I have always called it, usually with a giggle and the unspoken vow that we will never go there but knowing, shamefully, that it’s inevitable. Though turning into you mother has various shades and nuances (every woman will attest to this) I am going to give you the top three signs that you’ve “Gone Vickie”.

1) Force feeding family, friends and total strangers.

2) Always adding one final touch to anything believing in the motto “more is better.”

3) The near constant obsession with baking. (As I write this she is downstairs in the kitchen on her, hopefully, last preparation of the day. She has made: two loaves of pumpkin bread, a buttermilk pound cake and a pumpkin cheese cake.)

For my sister the emigration to Vickie was startling fast. As soon as she had my niece she was Vickie. Call it hormones, my mothers motherliness, I don’t know. In truth, the fact that my sister is not biologically related to me had no bearing on the transition what-so-ever. It is nurture over nature.

I am sad to report that I now suffer from numbers one and three. I have always been a feeder. I love cooking for friends, having them around the table, seeing them laugh over dinner and hearing the complements on the food. I am an excellent cook, I love the instant gratification and art of combining ingredients. I have not historically been a baker. You see, I have a small problem with authority. I hate being told what to do … even if the instruction is written down on a 3×5 recipe card. The thing is that baking isn’t anything more than science and the recipes are carefully organized chemistry experiments. I sucked at chemistry.

There was also a period of time when I wasn’t allowed near the oven. I kind of set a few towels on fire and let the bacon turn black and ashy a couple of times.

So, a few years ago when I moved out on my own I decided it was time to tackle the last major obstacle in the kitchen. I started out with box mixes, loving the feeling of accomplishment without having to do all that measuring and obeying. This summer I graduated to actual recipes and I found that I loved it. There is something comforting with having homemade bread, it feels hearty and real, so much more satisfying than a slice of Wonder Bread could ever be. And there is pride involved as well. You did this, made it, cared for it, let it rest, rolled it out and baked it for just the right amount of time.

And so, as my brother laughed out the other day, I have an uncontrollable urge to bake…I am one step away from being my mother. Hey, I guess there are worse things I could say or be.

Easy muffin pop-ums

1/2 c. white sugar

1/4 c. butter, melted

3/4 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 t. baking powder

1 c. flour

For the coating:

1/4 c. butter, melted

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnimon

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini-muffin tins.

2. Mix 1/2 c. white sugar, 1/4 c. melted butter and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in milk then add baking powder and flour until just combined.

3. Fill tins half full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

4. Melt butter in bowl. In a separate bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Pop warm muffin into butter then roll in sugar mixture.

These are easy and delicious and stay soft and tempting the next day.

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