It would seem as though I'm not a complete asshole baker. Not that I have any room for bragging at this point in my baking career, but hold your hats on tight and firm... I made a second batch of the blueberry muffins, dropped them off with a baker down the street who just had a baby, and received word today that they were the best blueberry muffins she has ever had in her life. Well. Color me purple and put a bow around my heart.
I followed heed from a commenter a few days ago (couple weeks ago?) and ordered my newest, most favorite, I can hardly believe I was even going to attempt this "Summer of Baking!" without owning it, cookbook. Oh, the joy I feel in my heart.
That Julia Child. Sure is a kick in the seat of the pants.
Do you remember that whole bit a while ago regarding my dive into the world of anorexia when I was 12? Active bulimia when I was 17? Obviously I've had issues with food and body image for what seems like my entire life- the idea of baking and then eating something made with butter was enough to have me thinking about throwing myself in front of a train. I can remember my beginning interest in baking- it was enough for me to put my nose right up to the ingredients and sniff away. That shit actually filled me up. Smelling something. Who would have thought?
Anyway, that was all years ago. I tried baking with my nose, I tried baking with low fat ingredients, I tried ignoring my desire to touch and smell and taste delicious foods. Thing is, none of the crap worked out so well for me. It's not like my life was so much better- in fact, it was a struggle.
Last week I was watching Julia Child help put together some muffins, scones, soda bread, and popovers with Marion Cunningham. And here's the thing- I absolutely squealed in delight when I watched the two of them converse about the one ingredient that caused me more fear for most of my life than anything else- yellow, creamy butter. Although it won't do it justice, let me give you a brief recap: Marion was pouring muffin batter into some cups and ever so thoughtfully said, "The thing is, so many of these baked things that are so shy of fat really... well, they really just don't taste good!" To which Julia said with an emphatic nod of the head, "No, no.... So you end up having to put more butter on them, so you'd be better off having the recipe right in the first place!"
Um, hell ya! Thank you Marion! Thank you Julia! The things I've baked in the past have tasted like shit- and the reason was because I refused to use the fats! Of course! The fats!
So even though no one else in this whole entire world could care less about the conversation between Marion and Julia, I felt like I had an epiphany. As I watched the two of them slather butter on top of their finished muffins, taking extreme delight in the flavors swishing around in their mouths, I thought to myself- no need to go to the extreme over here, but come on... take pleasure in your food. Taste it. Smell it. Touch it. Indulge. Do it right the first time.