my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

June 20, 2012

oh my oven, why have you forsaken me?

so i talk about baking around here a bit. or a lot. but i love sugar and butter and flour. and mixing it together makes everything better.

seriously, mixing flour and butter and sugar, spices and chocolate, nuts and oatmeal and extracts of flavors, this was my happy time and my kitchen was my happy place. i know baking from scratch is a source of stress for some, but it was stress relief for me. it was something that was exacting and precise, a tested recipe was something i could count on, something that would never let me down.

and then we moved and things got busy with the packing and the unpacking and just life in general. and i wasn't able to bake anything for a while. but then i was here, in my new house, and all my old friends, my pans and spoons and measuring cups that i had missed for so long, they found their new place in drawers and on shelves, just waiting for me to use them. and so i did. i made a cake.

and it was good. it was a new recipe i hadn't tried before, so when the timing was a little off, i didn't think much of it. and i baked some stuff for dinner, just following the recipe on the bag or box, and things came out ok.

and then i made chocolate chip cookies. and things were not ok.

a small aside: the recipe i use for my chocolate chip cookies is the same recipe i've used for years. i have literally used it close to one hundred times, probably making thousands of cookies. it is one of my favorite recipes, one i have memorized, one i could make in my sleep.

and so, when this recipe, the recipe that is like my oldest and dearest friend, lets me down, i know there is something wrong. and that something wrong i am beginning to think is my oven.

now the crazy thing is this oven in my new place is the one that came out of my old place. and it's one we bought not too many years ago. it served me well in my old house, and i really did use it every day. then it sat in my moms' garage for many months until we found our new home, where it was soon installed. but now it's just not the same.

things are baking too fast, not burning because i'm trying to be careful, but definitely getting overdone. so i don't know if it's getting too hot now or if it wasn't getting hot enough before. (full discloser, we lived in a pretty crappy place before, and even though it was plugged into the correct outlet, i wouldn't be surprised it wasn't getting enough juice) so i'm trying to get used to my oven all over again, like it's brand new. it just means that all my dependable recipes aren't so dependable anymore. and what used to be a calming, stress-free activity is now something i have to think about and pay attention to. and it's not like i don't already have enough of things i have to pay attention to.

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