Dear Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the sunny June 2018 issue of Betterbaking.com. Happy summer, happy graduations and happy Father’s Day (plus happy Donut Day, Gingerbread Day and Iced-Tea month; that and more is all quite sanctioned; check out June’s food days at https://foodimentary.com/june-holidays/
It’s officially summer in the BB kitchen yet the balmy climes do nothing to stop the pace of dough and batter; recipe creation stays at full throttle. Sure there’s not that same sense of being cozy you have in winter months but my baking passion doesn’t quit. Like the best of go-the-distance love affairs, it doesn’t take much to draw me to the kitchen: a new cookie recipe, a surfeit of Chilean apricots on sale, or a fresh discovery about flour. For instance, did you know kamut is also known as Tritium turanicum as well as Khorasan flour which are actually more the historical region that kamut was first grown? I also find I have more patience to bake these days which explains the great success I am having with sourdough bread (please follow me on Instagram to witness the adventure!). Suddenly, I just get it (sourdough that is).
To be frank however, spring is not my season. I find it a tad iffy; people are coming and going and there’s a visceral feeling of things ending or winding down without a proper sense of a beginning on the way. I feel that winter heaviness like a woolly coat worn over Bermuda shorts. However, spring 2018 feels different. Why? Because as I was trying to shed the March doldrums, someone wise (and coincidentally millennial) advised me in terse terms (as only someone with too much youth on their side could say): ‘You only get one go-round. For goodness sake, it’s on you to make something of your life!’ You only have to give me good advice once. I took the message to heart and realized it is indeed on me and any of us, despite circumstances and attitudes, to craft your own life, season by season, rain or shine. To this I also add (and not for the first time if you’ve read me for a while) the notion that our lives are like recipes: a recipe or a life can’t be any more (or less) than the quantity and quality of the things we put in to them – in terms of time, balance and the very content we ingest. So I went on a mission to craft my life and up the nutritional content of my 'self-hood' recipe.
I scoured Eventbrite and Facebook for events and activities by date, interest and locality. I signed up for almost every free thing (an Etsy craft fair, introduction to Bachata dancing) and bought low-cost tickets to essential oil evenings, new age talks, a tango workshop, a kombucha and vegan kimchi tutorial, a food pitch afternoon (think Dragon’s Den with a lot of hummus companies and maple seltzer) and found special ‘free space’ cafes to work in. I also found a nwq book club in another part of town where everyone, and I mean everyone, is oh-so-much smarter than me that I am still in awe.
In short, while crafting my life it didn’t take long to fill up my dance card, find new thoughts and learn new things, as well as enjoy some fascinating conversations with new people as well as the happenstance of bumping into old friends, on their own journeys. I might not end up pursuing each and every new thing but the energy that infused me is infectious and my world-view has shifted vastly. You are your own recipe so make it great: pick unique ingredients, marry them well, mix them up and bake it into a recipe that satisfies body and soul.
On another note, I am still finishing some mechanics on the new site and old site which is to say –I’ve decided to keep the old Betterbaking.com online since people like using the index of the old site. That said, the site is an older design and not quite stable (i.e. I believe I’ve mentioned that the purchase-one-recipe function no longer works). So, please rely on the new site –that IS Betterbaking.com now and if you want some nostalgia, there will be the old site for some time longer.
Happy June my baking friends, stay green, keep learning, and find new things to experience or find a way to make familiar things, new again.
Warm thoughts from my kitchen to yours,
Master Baker, Author
June 2018 Recipes of the Month
FREE!! Lemon Pizza
Dulce de Leche Challah
Feta and Red Pepper Scones
Cherry Granola Bars
Chocolate Whole-Wheat Muffins