Monday, August 30, 2010

Who Needs Retail Therapy? I've Got Kitchen Therapy!

I always forget how comforting a kitchen can be. There is something about focusing all of my energy into baking that always makes me feel great. I'm a little amazed that I've forgotten this because it was always what I turned to in the past. Mad?
Bake it out. Upset or sad? Bake. Happy? Bake to celebrate. This summer has been horrid for me... I've had a few happy moments and memories but overall the summer has sucked. My job is in jeopardy due to a grant possibly not being renewed and the feelings from it have spiraled into something I can't control, something I can't escape. Something I want to hide from and forget about but can't.

My sister-in-law Heather loves to bake as much as I do and during a recent family get-together we decided to do a girls' night followed by a day of baking. We both desperately needed a girls' night and we both love kitchen therapy. Heather's coworker gave her some peaches with the request to bake him a pie which is what set this day in motion. I brought two of my personal cook books. We looked through mine and hers and came up with a list: Tuscan Lemon Cake (with a lemon glaze!), banana oatmeal cookies, cola brownies, and 2 peach pies. At 9 in the morning we went to Hy-Vee and got the necessary ingredients including sandwich fixins' for lunch. The Tuscan Lemon Cake was first which I mainly worked on while Heather puttered around the kitchen. We had a few drinks the night before so a lot of jamming also went on that day... we needed to get rid of some of the calories we had consumed! Heather had said she likes to bake with other people because she always learns some new tricks. I'm not sure what she learned from me but I want her pie crust recipe. It has vinegar in it and sounded very interesting. It was great to vent about my weird summer or family as we were baking.
The Tuscan Lemon Cake was in the oven and I was working on the cola brownies when our friend (and old boss) Elizabeth showed up for lunch. I adore Elizabeth. She has such a great
attitude and is so easy to be around. I hadn't seen her for awhile so it was nice to have her in the kitchen as well. She was more of an observer since she doesn't bake. She was amazed by the ease in which Heather and I baked. She compared it with being on the set of a Food Network show which I found hilarious! Elizabeth's dog, Jessie, had come with her but had stayed outside in the back yard. My niece Eve had a ball going outside with Elizabeth to play with Jessie and slide shoes down the slide. At the end of the day, most of my worries were out in the open and I had seen people I loved. Kitchen therapy had done it's job.