Baking up a storm (or not)
I may have mentioned this before, but I worked in a semi-commercial bakery for 12 years. Though a lot of the work was from frozen ‘puck’ dough that was pre-formed, on occasion I was called upon to decorate cakes, and make things like angel food cake from scratch (50 lbs at a time).
Consequently, when it comes to making things for myself, I at least know how to go about it. Too, I have the necessary tools, since my mother-in-law ran a dining room out of her home through the 1960s. (When an Interstate was created and opened nearby, their business for the most part dried up [they owned/operated a motel] and closed said dining room) I inherited a large part of her equipment, including a vintage Kitchen-Aid mixer. Not one of the more modern varieties that has the hinged head, this is a beast, and it still has the Hobart label attached to it. I don’t think I could kill it if I tried. I expect it will outlive me, and the next 2-3 generations that make use of it.
I drag it out when I have large-scale baking to do. Like for my slave. She loves macadamia nut cookies (with white chocolate chips), and I found a great recipe for them. Now, granted macadamia nuts are hideously expensive ($18/lb fyi) but being able to do a little baking for her, and hearing how much she appreciates the gesture as well as my expertise is thanks enough. Giddy sounds over the phone (or in person, since the last time I baked them for her, I brought them with me when I hooked up with her in PA back in June) or just getting a message that says ‘I opened the last box!’ tells me all that I need to know.
Holiday baking can be a bear sometimes. But on occasion, it can be all worth it. Just have to know your audience, I suppose.