May 18, 2017

It’s Spring and All the Everything

I’m trying to write about my year of baking. Not as a series of blog posts, but in book form. It’s all so fascinating, and I’ve learned a great many things. My personal growth, how it has built community… it’s all remarkable. Case in point: I’m having a housewarming party this weekend. And 150 people are coming. Fortunately, I had the foresight to make it pot luck, because my bake sale is the day before. But 150 people. I’ve thrown…

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May 16, 2017

Make America Croissants Again

Yesterday sucked. In ways I can’t really get into here, because this is public and there are certain things I don’t get into in my writing. This is actually a big part of my struggle as a creative nonfiction writer. I hold back out of respect for other people, and these days it’s all about stringing other people up a flagpole by their skivvies. Let’s say for example—and I only use this example because it is so patently NOT TRUE—I…

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May 14, 2017

For

I am running a bake sale in my town. You may have heard of it, as the national press is calling it the Cupcake Protest. I am not personally planning to make cupcakes—although maybe… I’m thinking more muffins. But maybe banana bread. I’m never entirely sure in advance. I want to learn croissants, too. Moreover, it’s not a protest. “Protest” means there’s something you’re against. And we are for. We are for protecting children worldwide from deadly diseases. Also adults…

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May 3, 2017

Bake America Cheesecake Pumpkin Bread Again

I really love a baked cheesecake topping. Last week, I suddenly got an urge for the pumpkin-cheese muffins I used to get somewhere we lived once. No idea where. The muffins came out OK. I could do better. As Paul Hollywood would say, the texture was off. This week, I tried a loaf instead. Those of you who have been following along—and heaven help you, there are a few of you who have been following along the whole time—will note…

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May 2, 2017

Nerd Trust

Because we haven’t lived in Vermont long, I don’t really know anyone intimately. There are friendships forming, surely, but we’re a ways off from the deep trust that shatters my continual paranoia that people are just being polite and do not want to be friends. Do other people have this? The constant feeling of being an overeager puppydog? I do not have any identifiable disorder and I’m otherwise not a particularly anxious person—other than the obvious low-level existential crisis that…

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April 27, 2017

Oh, my stars. Cream cheese.

Awhile back, in the middle of baking banana bread, I had a thought. “This would be better if I added peanut butter.” If I’m being completely honest, it’s a thought I have almost daily about almost everything. (Lately, I also often think, “This would be better if I separated the eggs and beat the whites until stiff.” That’s unrelated to peanut butter.) And it was better. Way better. Because if bananas and chocolate chips are awesome, they can only be…

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April 14, 2017

Bake America Honey Cake Again

I know it has been awhile, but I promise I’ve been baking. Mostly other people’s recipes, cookies, things like that. And here’s what I’ve learned. Well, not really learned, as I suspected it, but confirmed. Baking brings people together. Baking builds community. Not joking or overstating things here. Like, the town assessor came to my house because we’re almost done building it, and when he walked in he told me how much he loves my cookies. I’d never met the…

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March 12, 2017

Great Purim Baking Show

It is Purim, which means costumes and noise makers and rabbinical students letting their hair down. Mostly, however, it means hamantaschen, those little three-cornered pastries that are meant to look like Haman’s three-cornered hat. Tonight was our Purim carnival and potluck dinner, and so I decided to do the Great British Baking Show: Purim Edition. I made sweet and savory hamantaschen. The sweet were easy, as a friend shared her recipe with me years ago, which in turn a friend…

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February 15, 2017

Make America Coffee Cake Again

I built a coffee cake on Sunday because we had a finalist for our high school principal position coming on Monday and I wanted to provide baked goods for the parent coffee because I am desperate for approval. Actually, I don’t give a hoot what people think of me to such an extent that I just used the expression “I don’t give a hoot” with no shame at all and really I just like feeding people. Anyway, we had a…

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February 13, 2017

Bake America Great Again

This baking thing started off as a challenge. I like to bake and do it regularly, so why not see if I can do it every day? But then, I needed to get rid of the baked goods, because we can only eat so much. I began bringing them places—committee meetings, the school front office, school board meetings. Places where people might not always be in agreement, where there is tension and strife. Where neighbors are losing sight of neighborliness.…

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