I can’t stop baking and cooking.
It all started at Thanksgiving dinner. Where I made the meal. Including a pumpkin mousse cheesecake.
Then I saw this recipe for baci di dama cookies over at David Lebovitz’s blog. I mean, I had to make it. I had to! Even though I was 8 and a half months pregnant. And I’m so glad I did. They’re my favorite cookies these days.
I think my mistake was buying and reading cookbooks. Because I picked up an old copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook, and started thumbing through it. And looked at the bowl of leftover cranberry-pineapple chutney from Thanksgiving. And saw the sour cream coffee cake recipe…and decided to combine the two. And then: great success! Coffee cake with sour undertones from the sour cream and from the topping. Ahyes.
The Silver Palate cookbook’s trademark recipe is chicken marbella. How could I NOT make this? So I did. And it was totally worth it.
Though I will warn you if you are sensitive to salt like I am, you will be a little puffy the next day. Still, totally worth it. Good stuff.
Okay, more than good. It was excellent. Like, going into my main repertoire, excellent.
Then I got obsessed with soft boiled eggs. Okay, I’ve always been obsessed with them. But I got obsessed with making them at home after reading a blog post on them over at Whitney Wright’s blog. I totally bought the egg cups, too.
Oh, and then I ran low on kimchi. And then I ran out of kimchi. And then I decided there was no way I was going to be without kimchi in my first few postpartum weeks. And so I made some kimchi. Woo!
And because I’m pregnant, of course I’m going to make myself a big pot of miyuk gook, the recipe of which I’ve posted on my food blog Muffin Top:
So you’d think I’d be set, right?
Then there’s literary rejection season. You know what I do to cope? You got it: I bake. I bake to offset my anxiety. To distract myself from staring at my words while filled with self doubt.
I bake Ottolenghi spice cookies out of his cookbook with Tamimi called Jerusalem (fabulous cookbook–with an amazing narrative–though for everyday and comprehensive Middle Eastern cooking, I am still heavily reliant on Claudia Roden’s cookbooks–I love both her Book of Jewish Food and New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Her recipes are bulletproof and authentic).
But back to those spice cookies!
And I baked Francois Payard’s flourless chocolate cookies. Except I discovered I don’t have walnuts, but I do have hazelnuts, so I substituted hazelnuts for walnuts and it turned out just fine. It turned out more than fine.
Now who will eat my cookies? My friend stopped by and the first thing I asked her was, “You eat cookies, right?” And as she nodded, I walked her to the kitchen where I loaded up an airtight container full of cookies. (Yes, I’m a freak who likes to bake, but is overwhelmed and doesn’t like to eat too many cookies at once).
And have I told you? My freezer is packed with food. I’ve been squirreling away leftovers in there for the first postpartum weeks. There’s so much food in there, we have to start eating it now. Ohlawd.
And in other news…I did pretty well with following through/up on my “2012 To Do List” this year. I think 2013 will be about “survive the first few months of motherhood and get back to my writing”–should look into a list for that.
Also, yes. In between all this, I’ve been resting. Maybe a bit too much. After walking a minimum of 5 miles a day (and more like 7 miles/day) for most of gestation, I stopped moving about three weeks ago (I now walk around 3 miles/day–bleah). My last week of regular yoga was at around week 32. My last week of long walks was around week 34. I’m at 37 weeks today, and giving myself permission to poop out.