Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There's No Whining in Baking

I'm not sure if it is because I'm older than some of my fellow food bloggers and something has happened to make everyone part of a culture of complaining or if it is because I have the flu and therefore a lot shorter patience quotient than normal (and my normal quotient isn't very large, about 1/8 of a cup) But I've about had it up to my eyebrows with the whining and crying I've been witnessing of late in food blog land.

There is crying going on about various themes of food blog events. There has been stomping of feet and pounding of fists over recipes or cookbooks selected. There's pouting over ingredients required and techniques used. I've even seen nastiness over how much time it takes to do some recipes. Guess what...

There's no whining in baking.

Nope, don't see whining called for in the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the "Joy of Cooking". Martha didn't call for whining in her ricotta cheesecake recipe found in her "Baking Handbook". Even though he get's a little whiny on America's Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball didn't include any whining in his master recipe for Cream Pie in "The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook". I'm pretty sure that Dorie didn't include 2Tbsp of whining in her World Peace Cookie recipe. Nope, just looked in "Baking from My Home to Yours". Not there...

So, here's my suggestion for all of you who feel the need to whine about the food blogging events you are involved in:

A. Make sure you really, really want to participate for the right reason, you like to cook or bake the type of food the host or hostess is offering as the theme.

B. Make sure you are joining the group you are joining because you want to be there and not because it is the "cool group" to be part of this month in the blogosphere.

C. Cooking and Baking take time. Unless the event is how fast can you microwave that pizza you just bought at the local convenience store, you are going to spend at least 3 or more hours in the kitchen. That's the facts Jack. Cooking and baking from scratch take some time. You aren't going to have a finished loaf of bread, cake, or cheesecake in any much less time than three hours. Now, this doesn't mean ACTIVE time, that is over all time before you can eat it! So, if a recipe says "let dough rise for 3 - 4 hours" this doesn't mean you have to stand in the kitchen watching the dough rise. You can leave your house/kitchen. Go do other things, like run to the bank, read a book in the backyard with an adult beverage. You know, do things!

I personally think part of the fun of food blogging events is pushing myself to try something I wouldn't do normally with a group of people with similar bent. The purpose of the food blogging event is not for someone to gripe about the recipe, complain and moan because they are forced to use an ingredient they don't like or cook from a cookbook by an author/chef they have distaste for. If that is why you decide to do that event, do the rest of us a favor, skip it please. Because guess what! There's no whining in baking...

OK, let me put my little soapbox over here and get on to something a bit more fun!

A few days ago Christina of She Runs, She Eats tagged me for a meme. As you know, I've sworn off memes but since Christina is one of my favourite blogging friends, I'll do one last one...

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Facts about me:

A. I minored in history with an emphasis on the American Civil War in college. I needed a B average to keep my engineering scholarships. I knew I would get C's in my calculus classes (I hate math tests) and get A's in history classes. So every semester I had to take an advanced math class, I took a history class (average of A and C = B) . I had math almost every semester so by the time I graduated I also had enough history credits to add a history minor to my credentials.

B. Until LB wandered into my life I hated cats and they hated me.

C. I still own the 100 yard backstroke record for the age group 12 - 14 at my hometown YMCA. My time was 1:00.32 (that is 1 minute and .32 seconds)

D. I love doing the NYT Crossword puzzle in ink on Saturday afternoon at my local watering hole.

E. I cross-stitch when I fly. I'm in the middle of working on a mantle tapestry for my mom that measures 6 feet long. I am only half way through and if my business travel stays on schedule for this year, she will get it for Christmas

OK, I'm not tagging anyone because most everyone I know has already done this meme but if you haven't and want to play along, consider yourself tagged! Just leave a comment here and let us all know you posted.

OH wow! Look, I have about 3 hours before I go to bed, that enough time to get a loaf of quick bread made. I wonder if I'll find whining in the ingredient list? (wink-wink)