I can’t remember if I said anything in my earlier posts that I am on a long sick leave at the moment and I am not sure if it’s all the medication I am taking or stress, but I haven’t been able to sleep much. So what do I do in the middle of the night when kids are asleep and husband is snoring away (I swear he sounds like a chainsaw)? Yep, you guessed it! I sneak down to the kitchen and bake my little heart out.
Not sure if lack of sleep or to many meds, but I am feeling more creative then ever. Or it could be mixture of both. And the weird thing is, no matter what I try to make, it turns out perfectly. I am beginning to think that baking fairy actually sprinkled some magic on my oven because even things that I have tried making 100s of times in the past and failed in the worst possible way, now turn out picture perfect.
You might think “That’s great! You must feel proud of yourself!” and you would be right. I am proud of myself and I wanna scream with joy every time my product is finished but here I am, in the middle of the night, alone in the kitchen. No one to share my achievement with. I know that no one in my family, no matter how much they love sweets, would appreciate it if I got them out of bed at 3 AM to show them how great my Pavlova turned out.
And there you have it. For the first few nights I would be sitting at the table admiring my handy work with mixed emotions. I’d be beaming with joy at how well I have done and I’d also feel little sad that I have no one to share it with. Ah that fine line between pleasure and pain. Just a tad dramatic, aren’t I? 🙂
As I said earlier, I am feeling quite creative and my imagination is working overtime, I came up with an idea.
I decided to store my camera in one of my kitchen drawers and now as soon as I finish my “master piece”, I take a whole heap of pictures and post them on my Facebook wall. I am not quite sure if I am doing it because I wanna share my creations with someone (other people who can’t sleep in the middle of the night) or is it because I wanna have “proof” that I have magic touch all of a sudden. I have always been hit and miss kind of baker.
You might think this whole picture taking and posting it on FB might be silly but something amazing happened from it all. On a selfish level, I feel better cause I can show people what I just did and don’t have to wait till morning when my family is up. But the best thing that came out of it is the fact that my picture actually inspired lots of my friends to start baking as well. Although, they are like other normal people and they do it during the day.
So now my inbox is always full of questions abut certain recipes and tips but the favorite one I got was today and it made me smile from ear to ear and I just have to share it with all of you.
My friend has an elderly aunt (early 80s) who is also my Facebook friend. She has been suffering from depression for the last 6 months and hasn’t been leaving the house at all since it all started. She would spend her days in her pjs, watching TV and not talking to anyone. Very sad situation, especially because she has always been a very outgoing person who loved gardening, spending time with her grand children and she belonged to a singing group (amazing voice).Then depression took over and like I said, she was a different person.
Today, I am going through my inbox and there is a message from her. She never inboxed me before so I was quite intrigued. A long message too. Aunty Helen wanted to let me know how much she enjoys all my baking picture and recipes that the other day she went to the shop and got all the things she needed for Coca Cola cake and she baked it and invited her daughter and grand kids over for dessert. ANd she has been baking every day since and her daughter has been visiting her after picking up kids from school cause they all just loooooooove Nan’s new hobby.
I had tears streaming down my face and I was smiling at the same time. This lady had a purpose again and she was looking forward to something every day. And all because I was doing something silly to amuse myself. I never thought my Facebook rants about baking and all those photos were going to inspire so many people. Wow! The power of baking is a lot stronger then I thought. 🙂
I did end up printing her message and I glued it in my recipe book. Just something to remind me that no matter how silly or meaningless something you do is, can actually be a big thing for someone else. Universe works in mysterious way.
And just in case if you were wondering, yes, I did some baking tonight again. Just some cookies but I thought this recipe is amazing so here it is. Hope you like it.
CREAM CHEESE AND RASPBERRY JAM COOKIES
100g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup slivered almonds
icing sugar mixture, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two flat baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until sugar has dissolved. Add egg and beat until well combined.
Using a metal spoon, fold flour into butter mixture. Using your hands, press dough together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out until 0.5cm thick. Using a 6cm round biscuit cutter, cut rounds from dough. Press leftover dough together and repeat to make 24 rounds.
Place rounds on prepared trays. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam into the centre of each biscuit. Sprinkle tops with almonds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, swapping trays around in oven after 12 minutes, or until light golden.
Allow biscuits to cool on trays. Dust with icing sugar mixture. Serve.
And this is what they turned out like.