some of these pictures are almost a year old!
I really love baking with Behr. If you know me, you would know I am a bit OCD with about everything except grammar (I'm terrible) and baking. Baking, at least some baking, needs a level of precision that I don't quite have the patience for. So much so, that Mark recently told a group that I am definitely not a baker. Boy, did I prove him wrong this Fall. All of our waists may now be suffering because of it.
I have ventured into apple pies, german apple pancakes, pumpkin bread, and muffins, and cookies, a failed scones recipe (in which Mark may have secretly deemed himself triumphant), a successful scones recipe, so successful I immediately made a second batch, blueberry muffins, carrot raisin muffins, my old family recipe for the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever, and now I am embarking on sugar cookies. Why am I making sugar cookies? Because the dollar spot at target told me to! And I couldn't say no when Behr picked out cookie cutters instead of the stickers. Who could say no to that?
Mostly, I have started baking more because Behr gets so excited. If I pull out the flour or sugar canisters, he is immediately dragging the chair over from the table to stand up right beside me. He wants to hold and pass and pour and measure (which he doesn't quite have down yet). But he sure knows where everything comes from and everything goes. He is my sous chef from the moment he asks, "Help you momma?"
Recently, I have realized that baking with Behr is more than giving him joy. It is connecting him to my past, my heritage. As he places the muffin liners in the tin, I want to grab him by the cheeks and say (maybe I even feel the urge to happy scream), "Do you know how many hands that love you have done this very task!?!"
My Yia-yia, and her mom (Big Yia-yia) and her sisters, and her boys, one of which is your Popouli, and me, little girl me, in pencil straight jeans when flairs were cool in jumpers and pretty party dresses and most definitely in mesh shorts, oh the mesh shorts, and your aunts and uncle, Julia, Michael, and Brooke, all of our hands stood over these muffin trays and did this very same thing. This very same thing! We placed the tins in and popped them down if they started to slide up.
Just like you Behr, just like you.
My Big Yia-yia taught me how to make family recipes, swoon-worthy greek pastries, with measurements by the green-mug-with-the-broken-handle-full. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does have to be right.
Here are a few things my Yia-Yia taught me about baking:
1. Make a day of it. Greek cooking takes a long time. This is the most valuable lesson I have carried over into baking with Behr. Make a day of it
2. Measure twice. She measured it out, and then I measured it in. The bowl of flour that I pulled from already had the correct amount, so I was never at risk for ruining anything. But as a girl, I felt like I was given the ultimate responsibility.
3. Taste along the way, it makes it more fun. And don't worry about the raw eggs in the batter, it never hurt her.
4. Bake more. Always. You never know who might be coming over for dinner. Thanks to Yia-yia I have enough food to feed a small army for the winter. And most definitely enough ingredients for a little impromptu baking.
5. Sing while you cook, and cover it in love. Her avgolemono soupa requires kissing the air "tks, tks, tks, tks, tks" when you mix the eggs into the hot broth, because kissing prevents the sour, and when there isn't sour, things don't curdle.
A few cooking lessons, a life time of teaching. My heritage.