Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the November 2018 Issue of Betterbaking.com!
For a Canadian who hosts (primarily) American readers, I’m having my annual editorial déjà vu. Didn’t I just chat up pumpkins and harvest last month? I thought so! But that was Canadian Thanksgiving. Frankly, one could do worse than a Thanksgiving rematch if only for the wonderful recipe inspirations that go with it.
In the last issue of Betterbaking.com I chatted about the concept of gathering, as in gathering what we love all around us. As the fall bounty continues, gathering gives way to gratitude and November, seasonally speaking, is a perfect segue. This holiday month is indeed the time of gratitude. Counting our blessings at the holiday table is a given although we probably should do it daily, if not hourly. Recent scientific studies tout gratitude awareness as a beneficial mindfulness exercise that’s not just positive thinking woo-woo but an actual gateway to experiencing more well-being overall. While it’s not always easy to ignore the negative, especially in these times of difficulty (if not pure heartbreak), if you look, you can find something. And we must find something.
So I’ve started counting my blessings, jotting down 3-5 things daily. It’s a socio-trendy thing that I never really got before now. Sure, it’s Oprah-esque but it’s also undisputedly a simple but powerful reminder of what’s good in my life. Surprisingly, even on days I don’t give think are worthy of a blue ribbon I review my gratitude list and realize there in my own indelible handwriting, that there really was some amazing thing that happened. There were but moments or only a few seconds but each and every one of them: pearls. It could be small or grand like the afternoon sun that illuminates my kitchen, the yoga pose I finally mastered, the silken feel of the warm water at the pool where I do laps or the marble cake (in this issue!) that finally came out perfect.
Most of us know what our big thank-you notes are about: family, health, friends, warm homes or food on the table and the sheer joy of nature. But it’s those small moments one misses unless you decide to tune in. When you notice the seemingly trivial but viscerally cogent, you’re more present. If you're like me, not to be in the past or future is a rare thing for me, so the act of counting my blessings is a huge shot of vitamin D, emotionally speaking. Small things, big grateful, more present, mo’ better.
Beyond gratitude and testing new recipes, I’ve been up to a few things of late, taking more dance classes (I added Semba, West Coast Swing to my tango time), bread classes (I'm always learning), a food photography class, more yoga and I’m now a card-carrying member of two wonderful book clubs. I finally got a meditation cushion (it makes meditation time a veritable occasion; it’s certainly a commitment) and have pretty well got rid of caffeine in service to good sleep hygiene. You can say I’ve become my own mini wellness clinic but so far, so good. I also have been dabbling in essential oils and published this feature on them for PBS Next Avenue https://www.nextavenue.org/wellness-essential-oils-offer-healing-benefits/ and in the area of great, new product reviews, I’ve been warming up near the (electric) fire with Dimplex. Read more a https://medium.com/@marcygoldman/a-fireplace-that-plugs-in-when-you-cant-use-real-wood-thanks-dimplex-e88d7e988dd7 .
In other news, my new cookbook is in the final editing stage! Next stage is production! The Newish Jewish Cookbook is over 150 recipes, each meticulously tested. Btw, I have a team of testers and if you are one of them, please confirm your name by emailing me. I lost the whole team email list with a new computer and I want to make sure to thank all my testers in the cookbook. Cookbook testers: please call home!
I hope you enjoy this month's recipes and don't forget, all your Thanksgiving favorite recipes, from stuffing, turkey, biscuits, pumpkin everything, cranberry everything and more can be found in the BB Recipe Archives.
I wish you a beautiful beginning to November, peaceful, loving moments, all the joy of Thanksgiving, first snow and the promise of more blessings yet to unfold.
Master Baker, Author
November 2018 Recipes of the Month
Free Recipe of the Month Apple Blossoms
Pull Apart Parmesan Slider Buns
Pumpkin Pie Rugelach
Best Ever Marble Cake