L. P. Skeen on wed 19 dec 01
OMG Kelly, this is SO true. What an excellent analogy.
----- Original Message -----
Subject: a baking parable for my ^6 comrades
> Here is how holiday baking would go if my kitchen were like my studio:
m markey on wed 19 dec 01
Hi Kelly, and Everybody!
My first ceramics instructor, Alan Meisel, often said in class that to be an
excellent potter, one needs to be an excellent baker. To illustrate glaze
mixing and following formulae, he handed out bread recipes to the class, and
our homework was to bake the bread!
Later on, he told us to abandon the recipes, save for the basic ingredients,
and use our own intuitions, for both the glazes, and the bread! We had a
room full of intuitive ceramic results, at the end of the semester! And we
celebrated the last day of class, with a table full of delicious bread!
So we got lessons that have been "ingrained," for both ceramic glazes and
Alan is now retired, but I understand that the Laney College ceramic studio
still carries the smell of bread baking.
MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:
primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM on wed 19 dec 01
Here is how holiday baking would go if my kitchen were like my studio:
First, I look for recipes. I get excited by the photos of muffins, cookies and cakes, only read the ingredient list and discover that the vital elements are no longer available. The nutmeg blight wiped out the whole crop, and all the cocoa plantations were paved to make a parking lot for the new Rain Forest Disney.
I look through my grandma's recipes, but recognize a lot of her ingredients as being poisonous or known carcinogens. Out they go.
I go on line to search for more modern recipes, and learn that I can substitute a combination of odd powders for nutmeg, but the final product might melt all over the bottom of the oven; also that I can substitute carob powder for chocolate if I adjust the levels of baking soda, flour, and salt. I try it, and it tastes nothing like the original. Yuck.
I visit a neighbor who always brings me good cookies at Christmas, to ask for advice. After some prodding, she confesses that she just buys boxed baking mixes, and just adds water. She doesn't know anything about recipes.
Frustrated, I drive to see a friend who is a wonderful baker. Her kitchen is full of delicious, sweet smelling strudels, cookie bars and candies. I walk around fondling and tasting everything, and she gives me all her recipes, but it turns out they can only be baked at high temps in her huge and expensive GAS oven, or smoked in the wood oven out back, and all I have is a small electric.
I go home empty handed. On the advice of a master baker, I discard ALL the recipes and try to invent my own. I spend hundreds of dollars and hours of time making test batches of inedible, crackled, dessicated or melted baked goods. I toss them outside to the squirrel, who gives me a dirty look and stomps away.
Finally I manage to come up with a few baked goods that LOOK really nice, but learn from reading on my "bake-art" list server that anyone who actually EATS them can get really sick.
I manage to bake one perfect, unique, symmetrical cake, but the frosting leaves bare spots, changes to horrible colors where thick, and glues the cake permanently to the platter.
I search through books, determined to bake ANYTHING that is suitable to my electric oven, and can be made from the half dozen basic white powders in my pantry (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda..) In desperation, I get out a credit card and call a baking supplier in Florida, to order a cup of cinnamon, a tablespoon of cloves, and some imitation nutmeg. Sure, they say, no problem. But those spices can only be shipped in hundred pound bags, $20 a pound, and shipping will be twice that.
I finally give up. I make peanut butter sandwiches and cut them out with cookie cutters to give at christmas.
But the new year approaches and hope springs eternal. I spend my last christmas shopping money on a book called "Baking Edible Food in Electric Ovens by chef Ron and chef John." Something to look forward to in the new year...
Happy holidays to all my imaginary friends out there, from a grateful clayart student..
Kelly in Ohio
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John Hesselberth on wed 19 dec 01
on 12/19/01 2:54 PM, primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM at primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM
> But the new year approaches and hope springs eternal. I spend my last
> christmas shopping money on a book called "Baking Edible Food in Electric
> Ovens by chef Ron and chef John." Something to look forward to in the new
Kelly that was great! If the book weren't already being printed we'd
probably try to get your permission to print your parable as the lead-in
My best wishes also to everyone for a great and peaceful holiday.
P.S. Ron says the printing is going very well. We'll post a short update
in just a few more days.
Web sites: http://www.masteringglazes.com and http://www.frogpondpottery.com
"The life so short, the craft so long to learn." Chaucer's translation of
Hippocrates, 5th cent. B.C.
Ilene Mahler on thu 20 dec 01
sorry can't find your e-mail address on my new ips..Did I order a
cookbook..Ilene in Conn
----- Original Message -----
From: L. P. Skeen
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: a baking parable for my ^6 comrades
> OMG Kelly, this is SO true. What an excellent analogy.
> ----- Original Message -----
> Subject: a baking parable for my ^6 comrades
> > Here is how holiday baking would go if my kitchen were like my studio:
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