When Life Gives You a Broken Oven…

…make no-bake cookies and a gigantic box space ship. At least, that’s what we did.

Two weeks ago, I mixed up a batch of coffee cake from a new recipe (which was delicious, but sadly in the kerfuffle I lost closed the tab with the recipe, alas). I turned on our oven and it made the usual gas burning sound. When I put the cake into the oven, it didn’t feel particularly hot. I figured, “It’s only 350; that’s why.” Not that I’d hang out in a 350-degree oven, or anything, but in the scheme of baking it’s just normal. Continue Reading...

Two Sweet Round Things

I got some new wheels for my pink bike, the first step towards a significant parts upgrades I’m planning. It’s been a long time since I did any upgrades on this bike. I’ve been waiting for good, reasonably-priced road disc wheels for a number of years, and I’m pretty excited about these.

image

I’m also excited in a whole different way about our first pumpkin pie of the season, made following (mostly) Martha’s recipe for pumpkin from scratch. Deborah and I spent a good part of the morning making these pies, starting with a whole sunshine Kabocha squash and ending with two lovely, delicious-looking pies. Continue Reading...

Snickerdoodly Perfection

Day’s Verse:
“How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”
Mark 4:30-32

Snickerdoodly Perfection

What do we do when the weather switches from sunny perfection do drizzly reality? Make cookies. Such as, for example, the above-pictured perfect snickerdoodles. This recipe (below) came from a cookbook called The All-American Cookie Book, by Nancy Baggett. It’s quite the hefty tome, elucidating on the art and science of cookie-making to an extent rarely seen outside of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Continue Reading...

Cookie Rhapsodizing

Day’s Verse:
Watch your words and hold your tongue;
you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

Proverbs 21:23

I was going to write a blog about my wet, miserable, all alone, cut-short bike ride, but who wants to read about that? Even I don’t. So we’ll move on to something nicer: Cookies.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned the cookie cookbook Colleen and Jordan gave me for Christmas. I think I have. It’s large, dense, and starts off discussing the theory of cookies and then goes into seemingly excruciating picky detail about ingredients. Nearly every recipe calls for ingredients like light corn syrup or candied ginger, things I don’t think any normal household regularly keeps on hand. It sternly instructs new bakers to follow the recipes exactly the first time, and the way it’s written you get the sense that any future deviations from the recipe would probably be ill-considered, too. Continue Reading...

Things 1, 2, 3, and 4

Day’s Verse:
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?

Proverbs 5:9-10ish

Thing 1
Sun breaks yesterday.
Winter Garden

Thing 2
I tried making the cheesy bread Ben mentioned on his blog last week.
Crusty Cheesy Bread
I decided to keep the loaf sealed, rather than cutting it in quarters or half as the recipe said. You can see the result. Overall as bread it turned out well; the crispy crust, fairly light innards (although I still prefer the no-knead bread for interior lightness). As far as the cheese goes, it ended up with just a thick slab of cheese right down the middle. The recipe calls for you to flatten the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle the cheese, and then seal it up again. If I did this again, I’d probably roll the bread out a bit thinner and then do multiple rolls to get a swirl of cheese in the middle, like you do with cinnamon rolls. We enjoyed this bread with homemade tomato soup that I’ve had frozen since summer. I can hardly wait for tomato season again. Continue Reading...

Cookie Science

Day’s Verse:
“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD.
Zechariah 2:10

Introduction
A cookie recipe was received and tested. The recipe as written included directions for 3 different baking temperatures and times. This study evaluated all three combinations, seeking to determine the best combination. Subjects were randomly selected and subjectively evaluated cookies, providing feedback on preference.

Methods
One batch of dough was prepared, strictly following the directions. Continue Reading...