9.03.2008

A Pear-fect Marriage

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.
Laiko Bahrs


I learned to cook by watching my grandmother in the kitchen, by reading cookbooks, and by trial and error. When I order a dish in a restaurant that I enjoy, I try to recreate it at home. Watching cooking shows provides inspiration for a new dish. If I don't have a specific ingredient, I improvise. It might work, or it may fall flat...but the ability to experiment provides flexibility and the ability to represent a viewpoint all our own.

This same set of principles cannot be applied to baking. Recipes are not suggestions - they are not open to interpretation. Granted, certain elements can be altered, but when it comes to the basics, ingredients exist for a reason.

In my mind, cooking and baking are perfect parallels to the aspects of a good marriage. In a relationship, there are certain things that we can tweak - there are days we can omit the sarcasm, add a bit more excitement, substitute affection for words. However, as with baking, there are certain items that cannot be removed - respect, honesty, fun, selflessness. Sure, you can bake a cake without sugar, just as you can have a relationship without laughter - but would it be nearly as good?

There are days when I don't have the energy to bake. I don't have the patience for measuring exact amounts, don't wish to be confined to the rules a cake recipe brings. Then there are days, the days when I'm in need of structure and a guarantee. Relationships bring about the same types of roller-coaster emotions - lack of patience, defiance for independence, the need for balance, the yearning for comfort and stability.

This recipe is based on a simple pear & pecan bread recipe - and although the fundamental aspects of the recipe remain the same, I've altered it to incorporate what works best for me - removing the nuts and adding brown sugar for crunch and texture. In essence, I've taken the things that cannot be ignored, and adapted them to best fit my mold....basically, marriage defined.
Pear Muffins
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar cinnamon blend
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 egg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 ½ cups diced ripe pears
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a medium bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients and combine well.
-In a separate bowl, mix the last 4 ingredients together.
-Add wet ingredients to dry mix a little at a time, whisking to incorporate well, until mixure is fully combined and well moistened.
-Spoon mixture into a mini-muffin pan (filling cups 3/4 full) and bake 12-14 minutes, or until brown.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Girl, you are D-E-E-P! I had no idea! Obviously, your depths were completely unplunged at your former workplace. Very refreshing, thoughtful post.