Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Notes from an aspiring kitchen goddess

Domestic goddess I am not. Though I always dreamed of being one. Or to be precise, I aspired to be a kitchen goddess, at the very least. I mean, given that I am plagued with sinus where dust reduces me to a specific dwarf that has teary eyes and big red nose, I reckon I am unlikely to excel in cleaning the ceiling fan or clearing out the storeroom. (Just thinking about these chores already set me off into a sneezing fit.)

Before Anya came along, I was the aspiring kitchen goddess who was always burying my head in recipe books in the community library and pestering my mom for recipes of our favourite childhood dishes. Then, I will spend hours in the kitchen.  On some days that I pottered in the kitchen, I would cook up a storm. Other days, the kitchen simply resembled a ruin land that a storm just swept through.

Between baking and cooking, I have always been baffled by baking. During my lower secondary school days where all girls were to take compulsory home economics classes, I was subjected to humiliation when my rock buns turned out to be fruit cakes and cakes turn out to be breads. Throughout my teenage and adolescent years, the only things that I was capable of baking were pineapple tarts with my mom (where I was in charge of dressing the pineapple fillings) and chocolate chips cookies (which I had to pass them off as chocolate buns occasionally).

Therefore, during the BA (Before Anya) times that I was striving to be a domestic goddess, I had bought a conventional oven and cake mixer and even went on to sign on baking classes. Along the way, my BQ (baking quotient??) must have shot up as I could finally produce presentable cakes and muffins. It seemed that I could finally have a glimpse of what it takes to be a kitchen goddess. But alas! It was not meant to last. The moment I fell pregnant with Anya, I took a hiatus from the kitchen for the next two years.

I always thought that baking/cooking skills are akin to motor skills. Once you acquire the art of cycling, you will always be able to transport yourself from point A to point B on the two-wheelers , even if you have not ride one in the last ten years or if you have suffered from amnesia in between. It goes the same for baking, or so I thought.

I am wrong.

After going through two cycles of pregnancy amnesia - still in the midst of the second one actually, I have forgotten even the basics of the basics. Just three weeks ago, I called up my mom to ask her if cooking a cup of rice is meant to feed one or two adults. In response, she guffawed for a good whole minute before replying me that a cup is for two. As for baking, I was perusing the recipes from my baking classes, and it felt as if I was reading them for the first time. No doubt, the notes taken were my very own handwriting, but the steps all seem rather unfamiliar. Still, I am determined to bake something. There is something about mommyhood that reignited my desire to be a kitchen goddess once again. I am hooked to having that fuzzy feeling that bubbles inside me every time Anya enjoys a dish/item that was prepared in my kitchen.

After two weeks of intensive studying of my recipes and reading up on the basics of baking principles (e.g. the different types of flour etc), I decided that my baking comeback item shall be the easiest of all cakes - muffins. And I am rather pleased with the result - 41 well-risen pretty chocolate chips and blueberry muffins!

Having said that, while having those fluffy fat muffins was a boost to my confidence; I am still a long long way from becoming Anna Olson or Martha Stewart. Still, one can always dream right?


Anonymous said...
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Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Lovely! There's always a start. your muffins look very nicely done. Does your recipe require a mixer? I'm looking for a good recipe that doesn't require one!

Anya's mom said...

Unfortunately, mine requires a mixer. But what I have is a hand-held Kenwood mixer that is more economically priced. Paid $200+ for it if I remembered correctly. All I needed to get on the side was a flat-base mixing bowl (which is really a salad mixing bowl from Ikea).