I grew up baking with my grandma, Ada. I have fond memories of making batch after batch of chocolate chip cookies at her “lake” cabin in Idaho. (It was actually on a river, but we called it “the lake.”) I baked those cookies so many times that by the time I was in highschool, I knew the Nestlé Toll House recipe on the back of the bag by heart. My grandma would tease me because I couldn’t stay out of the water long enough to finish the job. I would pause the task to go for a swim. She used to say I would get water-logged. It never happened. I still love the water. And, I miss baking at the cabin.
Madalyn takes after me, she loves to bake. Muffins, cookies, brownies, biscuits, oven pancakes, pretzels, you name it, she wants to try it. And, she has improved greatly! I came home one evening and she had just pulled her first batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. Mike and Madalyn froze and gave a deer in the headlights look when I showed up earlier than expected. I think they thought they would be “in trouble” for making mom’s cookies. I was a little taken aback at first. What’s wrong with my cookies?, I wondered. Nothing, I think. I just wasn’t home to make them. And Madalyn’s cookies? Wow! They were perfect. Light golden brown outsides. Ooey, gooey insides. Better than all the batches I have attempted since living in Colorado. So how did she do it? “I just followed the high altitude instructions,” she exclaimed. The few tweaks included on the back of the bag. Brilliant. I guess I have a new recipe to memorize.
One of Madalyn’s favorite things to bake is homemade pretzels. What a treat. Auntie Anne’s pretzels, take a number! She made them this past weekend using a different recipe than usual and they were delicious. They were huge pretzels that looked more like a bagel but the flavor was incredible. They were baked until just lightly browned and when broken in half they revealed a fluffy, soft, and chewy inside. My take on a perfect pretzel. Kudos, Madalyn!
Although I enjoy baking, I think I can take a step back from the oven and let Madalyn take the oven mitts. I think we’ll start working on her making dinner, too.
Only one rule – You make the mess, you clean it up. This was after some initial clean up.