I’ve been out of my groove in the kitchen for awhile but lookout, world, I’m staging a comeback. A couple months ago I purged the pantry of goods that had expired, some as far back as 2008, violating even my relaxed standards on expiration dates. Then came the flour bin and spice cupboard. Lynn Rosetto Kasper, she who advocates for replacing spices and staples every six months at the very least, would beat me with a wooden spoon if she saw what I had stashed away. But let’s not dwell over much on my recent kitchen dysfunction. Supplies are restocked, cupboards are clean, cookbooks are being consulted and I’m blissfully writing lists.
For Thanksgiving I tried my hand at candy-making and apple cake. Both recipes turned out beautifully and were full of comforting late fall-early winter flavors. These small victories convinced me I could get back in the groove quickly so I baked a couple batches of my very own granola and Joy the Baker’s bourbon-spiked banana bread. That I gave to some nuns. Which is a story for another day. Everything turned out so fantastic that I became drunk with kitchen success. So then, then I got a little bit ahead of myself and tried some new pumpkin recipes for the big day. Plain old pumpkin pie? That’s for babies. Let’s bust out! Ooooooooooh. Crash. Splat. Ouch. It was my fault entirely they were bombs. But once all the baking was done and the reviews were in, I analyzed my successes and failures and began the lists for Christmas baking. Oh yah. I’m back.
The house was full of the warm and wonderful smells of sugar and butter and what did that make me think of? June and the Farmer’s Market! I took this as a clear and undeniable sign that, now that I’m back in the kitchen, I need to reacquaint myself with fresh produce as well as fresh sugar and spice.