How To… Get Baking

There is quite definitely honestly and truly a one hundred per cent chance that there’s absolutely no way we’re going to get through this particular period in history without the aid of snack foods. Specifically baked goods created with love and, for those moments when everything seems as dark as it can possibly be, a sprinkle of surreptitious pot (not that I go in for any of that of course. Please don’t search my sock drawer, there’s nothing whatsoever to find).

Because getting busy in the kitchen serves a whole variety of purposes. For one, everyone needs to eat and a little bit of home cooking is one of those universal comforts (naturally provided that the chef in question either has some prowess with a wooden spoon or is diligent when it comes to following a recipe). Another point in its favour is that, what with the way things are headed with women’s rights – the global gag rule should scare you, stripping women of basic healthcare is a big deal and incredibly petty to boot – a gal tethering herself to the kitchen lends the illusion that she’s recognised it’s her rightful place. Confused? Bewildered? Well, I can sympathise.

It’s a distraction. You can hardly focus on the catastrophic ramifications of the latest clownish executive order when you’re debating the relative merits of millefeuille versus strudel. Once you get yourself started you may even find it difficult to stop. You’ll begin to theorise as to whether the Italian or French method is superior in the production of meringue. You’ll travel the globe in a safer than real way by diving deep into baking techniques from various countries.

Crack out the trays and the specially designed paper, nip to the shops and come back laden down with different genres of flour and dried fruit and at least one type of butter. Even if it all comes out burnt and lethal looking to the point that even glancing at it causes you to become afflicted with food poisoning you’ll have done something constructive with your day.

Get baking – Tom Howe

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