Presents Presents Presents!

I love my birthday!  It’s the one day that is just for me (and all those other people that I share the day with) besides mother’s day.  I know this sounds a little self-centered, but everyone needs one day of self-centeredness.  This year I did not have a lot of time to celebrate as my birthday was on a Friday and we were going to be at my in-laws for the weekend.  But we made the most of it.

Hubby, the darling Rocker Dude that he is, got me my presents early.  Instead of trying to be super creative and risking disappointment, he looked at my wishlist on Amazon.com and got me some of the books on the list (isn’t that what wishlists are for?)

The first present that Rocker Dude got me was The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.  It is kind of a textbook with a large introduction section that discusses ingredients and tools – quality and purposes.  It is really educational and then after that part, it goes into basic recipes as well as unique variations on them with clear pictures.

The next present was The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker.  It has a lot of clear instructions and tips on how to bake and how to fix what goes wrong, or why something goes wrong.  It is written more for the home baker.

These were both books that I had looked at before and read all the reviews.  Rocker Dude knew that and so he got me my presents.  I was so excited when I got them.  I can’t wait to make something from them.  In the meantime I am reading all the introductions about equipment and tools so that I can get ready.  Also, Passover is coming and I am trying to clean the house of all flour products (let me tell you, it is not easy).

The Sur La Table book is quite a textbook.  It’s one of those books that if a thief ever came into the house, it would be an ideal weapon to smash on his head.

Then on Friday when we went into Jerusalem for the weekend, there were more presents waiting – yay!  My in-laws had gotten me Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by the Culinary Institute of America (my secret dream was to study there after high school – oh well).

This, is really a textbook, there is even a student workbook that goes with it, though I think I will start with this before I go onto the workbook.   But coolest of all is that along with the cookbook, there was a chef’s uniform waiting for me with my name on it – literally!  There was a chef’s jacket and apron, both embroidered with my name and a hat.  How cool is that?  Now I’m not sure when I will wear it, but maybe on a day when I have a ton of cooking to do I will get all dressed up, or maybe at night….?

Not everyone thinks that such things are presents, when I mentioned them to some of my friends, they kind of had this awkward look, like, is he trying to say something with these presents?  But the truth is, even if it means that I spend more time in the kitchen, I enjoy baking and these are presents for me.  I don’t know how much I will get to bake before Passover because we are trying to finish what is in the  cabinets and the fridge, not add more.  So I warn you all in advance – there will probably be some flops and some things that would be better if I made them a second time, but I hope that there wil also be some awesomely cool stuff coming out of my kitchen and out of this blog.  Keep your eyes peeled.