I mentioned that baking was one of my things. This afternoon I pulled out one of the more inspirational baking books on the shelf, “The Art and Soul of Baking” and flipped through to find something I thought I could handle with ingredients in the house. Sometimes you just want to get on with things with a minimum of fuss.
Espresso chocolate hazelnut biscotti called to me. I love dipping crispy biscotti in my morning latte, and the recipe didn’t seem like it would require too much of me on a lazy Monday holiday. Since my supply of hazelnuts was completely out (okay, I never really had any hazelnuts) I substituted some sliced almonds that we keep on hand for tossing into salads.
There is something intellectually and emotionally satisfying about baking. Baking requires a certain amount of precision and attention to detail. You need to slow down, think about what you are doing and pay attention to the job at hand. If you are a person who can’t stand following directions and demand instant gratification then baking probably isn’t your thing. Stray too far from a recipe without understanding the underlying principles at work and you can almost guarantee a disaster in the making. But if you learn the basics, have a good understanding of what you are doing and where you are headed, and have a little patience, good things will come to you.
And isn’t much of life like that?