When I first started this blog, someone on Facebook asked me if I was trying to be the next “Julie.” For those of you who aren’t sure, she was referring to Julie Powell of Julie & Julia fame. Since I love food so much, naturally I’ve been wanting to see this movie, but since I also love to read, and I found out that there was a book, I opted to read the book first. Of course, snob that I am (but really just not wanting to give away the fact that I’m reading the book because of the movie and wanting to seem like I knew about this waaay before the movie even came out), I had the minions at Barnes and Noble fetch me the copy without the movie tie-in on the cover. Ok, where was I going with this? Oh yeah…
No, I’m actually not trying to be the next Julie Powell. Though I was inspired by her, I am not attempting to bake my way through a book full of baking recipes. I think I’d drive myself crazy…she nearly did (her Julie/Julia Project blog is here)! I actually wanted to blog about my baking because I found myself talking to myself a lot while baking, muttering how I’d improve the recipe next time, or wanting to document the thoughts in general that were streaming through my mind during the process — from the feeling of how what I was doing reminded me of my mother and my childhood, to the complaints I had about certain recipes being a pain in the arse because they were so tedious. Oh, I only wish I had been blogging when I experimented with fondant. I had a lot to say then!
I’m almost finished with the book. I will say that my experiences with baking are a lot more relaxed than her experiences with Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She was on some kind of a mission, and I am not particularly on any kind of mission, though I realized yesterday that the psychology behind my doing this involves some kind of comfort in the scientific nature of baking — from measuring out ingredients to tweaking the proportions, to getting to the techniques and improving on them. It’s predictability with just a bit of unknown, the unknown being the end result of your efforts. I am a bakeologist and my tiny, humble kitchen is my lab.
I have a bunch of other books in my library queue that are about food. I’ve become a fan of Ruth Reichl’s (former New York Times food critic) writing ever since I read Garlic and Sapphires a few years ago. It was because of this book that I even learned famous names from the culinary world and whose restaurants were the most “coveted” as far as dining experience. And of course it helps that I watch a lot of Top Chef. I picked up Reichl’s Comfort Me With Apples today. I’ll probably get to that next.
Anyway, tonight’s baking project is not a new recipe to me. In fact, I’ve made this several times already and I consider it one of my two top cookie recipes. I had a craving for brownie cookies one evening, and so I searched for a recipe. I swear by the Food Network as a source, and I am going to have to refer you to this site again, because this is where I found the recipe.