Bakin’ Goodies

For whatever reason, when the winter gets colder I begin to cook impulsively. Actually, let me rephrase that: I begin to bake sweets impulsively. Last night I baked up some of my mom’s sugar cookies only to eat a couple and send most of the rest off to Alex for his birthday.

Today I was charged with a bigger task: making pan dulce for my culture group presentation tomorrow. I guessed that I could probably make a double batch and have my contribution for Tuesday’s meal, since Tuesday is routinely my busiest and most tiring day.

The first batch was decent, the frosting melted together so it didn’t have the nifty designs and it didn’t rise as much as I hoped, but they certainly looked festive.

SUC50017

The second batch…well…let’s just say that I know for sure now that the yeast I used for that batch is long past its prime (the big one is one from my first batch to show relative size).SUC50020

Along with all of this was the usual baking mishaps – trying to halve a recipe but accidentally putting in the ingredients for a full recipe, running out of eggs/flour/powdered sugar and generally being frustrated with my ridiculous yeast. (If I remember correctly, in my biology class we proved that yeast is a living thing. Does that mean I’ve had a dead thing in my pantry for several months?)

My group is presenting tomorrow, and I’m pretty well set; book read, movie watched, interview completed, food baked, and I just have to write a summary of all of that. Ironically – since our assigned culture is Latinos – after eating Mexican food tonight I’m having a few digestive issues. To be fair, Alex was sick yesterday so I may have happened to catch something from him and it didn’t show up until I this evening.

The one bonus is that now I get out of my group meeting tonight. Not that I don’t like my group, in fact I enjoy working with them. But I can write out my portion and email it off in about 1/3 to 1/4 of the time it would take to meet with them. AND I can do it in my pj’s and not have to trek down to Chico. Don’t you like how I use “trek” as though Chico is an hour or more away?

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