I love this article, written by an academic, about how she likes the bake because it's the best way for her to express her affection for others.
She talks about how she and her sister used to bake cookies for her mother on nights when she worked late. It made me think about myself when I was young. I used to do the same thing myself. I loved to bake cookies, oddly, because my mother wasn't really into baking and she never once made cookies. But somehow I was really drawn to cookie recipes, probably because they are relatively simple in terms of technique and relatively quick to bake. And also because, let's face it, who DOESN'T love cookies?
One of my favorite recipes was peanut butter blossoms, a recipe I found in a Pillsbury cookies magazine my mother had probably gotten free as part of a supermarket promotion or something. I remember how much I loved those cookies (even though I made them without the kisses on top, because they were the one ingredient we didn't have just sitting around the house), and I also love how much I enjoying tricking my father into eating them. He hates peanut butter, but yet he ate these cookies every time I made them and said they were good, every time. I guess no one can resist a cookie.
I still enjoy making cookies. I've got some baking books and am enjoying going through them and trying new flavors beyond the usual chocolate chip and oatmeal. I recently made some chocolate gingerbread cookies that were amazingly delicious and took them to a party where they were a big hit. Like Therese Huston in the article, I find that making cookies is like an expression of what I feel inside, a little circular externalization of my emotions. They are a great way for me to nonverbally bring a little comfort and happiness to my friends and loved ones. All cooking, I think, is an expression of love for others, but there's just something about baking that really gets to the heart for me, these little sweet bits of love.
Is there a certain food you like to make that encompasses your love for your friends and family, a food that expresses what you feel inside in an edible way?