The Hobby: Food

3/7/2012 1:07:00 PM

Tags: Angel Food Cake, Key Lime Pie, food, hobby, cooking, baking

Janann headshot Can Food Be a Hobby? 

Hobby:   A pastime, diversion, leisure pursuit, or something you do for relaxation.  Now I don’t know about you but when my family was growing food was not a hobby, it was a necessity.  Breakfast might be cereal or toaster something before the kids ran for the bus.  Eggs, bacon and the rest were more likely to happen on a Saturday or Sunday.  By early evening dinner became a blur of casseroles, pasta dishes and boiled vegetables.  That was not relaxation therefore that was not a hobby.
 

Bacon and Eggs 

Since the children are grown I can now take the time to enjoy food, not just eating food, but trying new recipes and learning the whys and wherefores of why we cook certain ways. I can collect flour sifters, cookie cutters or cookbooks I’ll never use. Now I do have a hobby –Food (and pretty much everything that goes with it.)

Flour Sifters 

There’s so much to learn. 

My sinking Angel:
Angel Food Cake Cooling
 

Growing up I never gave it a second thought, but recently I became interested in angel food cake.  Why did my mother always cool it upside down, hanging from a Coke bottle?  The internet is wonderful, it didn’t take long for me to discover that angel food cake is really closer to a meringue than a cake and cooling it upside down keeps it from collapsing back onto itself.  That’s the theory, but when I tried to make this light as air cake part of it still collapsed.

Angel Food cake collapsed 

Why?  I’m guessing I left an air pocket when I filled the pan or my oven does not heat evenly.  Since I’m fairly certain Betty Crocker puts out a good mix it’s most likely something I have done.  I know, a good hobbyist (cook) would start from scratch but any recipe that begins “separate 12 eggs” is NOT my type of recipe.  It’s way to rainy to bake an angel food cake today.  I’ll post an update in a later blog about the success of my next attempt at the perfect angel food cake.

Beware Teenager in the Kitchen: 

Even an experienced teenage cook needs to be monitored in the kitchen.  It seemed so simple.  All the granddaughter wanted was to make a key lime pie.  I have made those since I was probably 8 years old, back in the days when you had to crush the graham crackers and mix the butter and sugar for the pie crust.  Now with the readymade crusts there are only two ingredients for a great key lime pie.  Two, that’s all.  How could she go wrong?  She’s a flighty teenager, that’s how.

key lime pie 

The Recipe and the Mistake: 

Here’s the recipe:  take 1 can sweetened condensed milk, mix with 1/3 cup key lime juice (or lime or lemon juice), pour into crust and chill.  Apparently what she heard was blah blah blah 3 blah blah.  She’s a girl so she creatively added red food coloring to make a pink pie but that wasn’t the problem, it was the ¾ cup of lime juice that was the problem.   “What’s the diff?”  I suggested she not consider chemistry as a major. Even the dog that will eat anything wouldn’t touch that pie.

What a Great Hobby: 

As hobbies go I think I have found a winner.  I can explore history, spend weekends at yard sales looking for hidden treasures, taste new ingredients, and oh yes perhaps cook a few things too.

old cream and sugar bowls 



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Post a comment below.

 

Janann Giles
3/21/2012 3:25:19 PM
Bless you for letting children that small cook. I don't know if I would have the patience for that. The 7 and 9 year old grandchildren can actually help. Their specialities tend to be carbohydrates - waffles and pancakes to cookies (orange, chocolate chip) and a cake or 2.

Crystal Schneider
3/20/2012 10:38:23 PM
Mine isn't so much the not listening teenager it's the finally get one of the children to help/learn about baking (daddy does most of the cooking). If it is difficult to tell one 2 year old that she can't eat every ingredient you add, the other 2 year old only wants to stir his way and the 4 year old can't understand why she can't add daddy's spices to the cake we are making. Fun is what you make of it. Breath and enjoy before they become teenagers.

NEBRASKA DAVE
3/20/2012 7:14:47 PM
Yeah, you're right. I forgot about the gravy and desert. I've been away from the country life way too long. :0)

JANANN GILES
3/20/2012 1:56:32 PM
Cindy - thanks for the comments. I've been slow in responding. My computer won't let me log-in. Right now I'm on my daughter's computer. Who know why evil lurks in the hearts of electronics. Your comment about a kitchen fire has jogged my memory. I'll write up my kitchen fire incident in an upcoming blog. When the blue mashed potatoes are served try to imagine your daughter as some world famous chef where people will pay exorbitant prices for the experience.

JANANN GILES
3/20/2012 1:52:01 PM
Based on visiting my aunt in Iowa you are wrong about the 3 basic ingredients to a good meal. At least in her home in addition to everything else you were guaranteed meat, gravy and dessert - breakfast, lunch and dinner. My children loved the "dessert" at every meal part.

JANANN GILES
3/20/2012 1:49:28 PM
"None of them" is so true -we dropped the same teenager off for a church function. At least 3 times, including as she was getting out of the car, we said "you know there is an adult meeting in the fellowship hall, use the side door". We then watched her walk directly to the fellowship hall door and open it. The shocked look on her face was priceless.

CHARLES MALLORY
3/10/2012 3:16:51 PM
Janann, great to see your blog! I am just like you in that I certainly never need another cookbook and have far more gadgets than anyone could possibly need. The part about your granddaughter was hilarious--with blah blah blah now you know what words teenagers really hear from us: NONE of them!

NEBRASKA DAVE
3/8/2012 3:41:32 PM
Janann, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. I can already tell that you are going to be a great addition to the community. I already wish I lived closer to be able to be the official taster of the hobby food that comes from your kitchen. As for me, being a widower for 10 years and now a confirmed bachelor, my eating habits are pretty basic. I'm not so much into cooking up fancy dishes but should I get a chance to try some, I'm not against it. Coming from the midwest area of the country the basic three ingredients of a good meal are meat, potatoes, and corn. :0) However, I'm kind partial to beans and rice as well. There's always room for a good pancake. Don't you think? Bacon and eggs are on the menu for Saturday morning breakfast. I think every guy thinks that anything tastes better with bacon on it or in it. :0) Have a great hobby food day in the kitchen.

CINDY MURPHY
3/8/2012 1:26:27 PM
Hello, Janann, and welcome to the GRIT community. With a 10 year old and 16 year old, I'm in the 'food is not a hobby; it's a necessity' stage.....well, maybe it's a part-time hobby when we have time. I had to laugh at your granddaughter's key-lime pie experimentation. Shelby, our teenager, is very good at that selective hearing blah-blah-blah-and don't set the house on fire!-blah-blah-blah thing, (at least she heard the most important part). Her kitchen creations always seem to come in an array of colors that whatever particular food she's making normally is not supposed to be...and sometimes flavors that are not supposed to be combined. Ever had chocolate cake with green apple flavored icing? I wouldn't touch it (and I'll eat just about anything). Funny thing is, the kids who normally are on the picky side, loved it. Sometimes there's no accounting for taste. Enjoy your day.



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