Monday, October 12, 2009

Dabbling in Domesticity

Okay, so this is not the most beautiful cake in the world. But damn, was it delicious, if I do say so myself!

Cooking has never been my forte. I never really learned until after college, when I had to cook dinner for my five roommates at least twice a week. Luckily, none of us were spectacular cooks, but we found that if we cooked with a partner, dinner was actually quite edible--and oftentimes delicious. Unluckily, we were a vegetarian house that year, so I emerged with a repertoire of yummy, healthy...meat-free dishes (mostly culled from "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook"--"March Hare Salad" was a big fave). Not so fun for the carnivore I would eventually marry.

However, in addition to his many talents, NR happens to be a FABULOUS cook. For our first few years of marriage, we happily split duties in the kitchen. But it soon became apparent that I was your basic meat-and-potatoes, follow-the-recipe-to-a-t kind of gal; he was more the whip-up-a-mouthwatering-gourmet-feast-using-a-few-spices-and-imagination kind of guy. Show-off. It seemed a fair trade, though; I took over 98% of the cleaning chores, while he was crowned permanent king of the kitchen.

But this summer, once I found out that we were expecting Baby #2, something alarmingly domestic started burning inside me. (And it wasn't just the usual pregnancy heartburn.) I decided to teach myself how to bake. I'd received several beautiful, glossy dessert cookbooks for our wedding, but the initial directions scared me off ("cream together..." "sift flour"... "fold in"...what the???)

So I jumped on Amazon and bought a used copy of "Baking for Dummies." And oh, the bounty that I've put forth over the last few months! REAL cookies, brownies, cakes, breads, homemade granola bars, even my first pie (banana cream, to be exact).

I'm certainly no Martha Stewart, nor do I aspire to be one. Yet there really is something satisfying about making a delicious dessert from scratch (even if, as pictured above, it's not exactly pretty...but who cares about pretty as long as it's yummy?) And my Christmas list this year includes an extra springform pan, a double-boiler, and yes...even a sifter.

So the next time you come for dinner at Casa Romero, you can be guaranteed of several things--a tasty meal by Chef NR, table-side entertainment by the Teege, and possibly a sweet something by yours truly. :)