Eat What YOU Bake.

August 2, 2009

I read a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine today by Michael Pollan. In it, he discusses, among many other things, Julia Child, how she influenced American Culture and cooking patterns, and how current culinary food shows reinforce the American love of eating rather than the love of cooking. He notes that the amount of time spent cooking, more than any other factor, is correlated with patterns of obesity. In short, the more time we spend really cooking and eating the food we cook, the less likely it is that we will be obese. The article ends with the following quote from Harry Balzer, food marketing researcher: “You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It’s short and it’s simple. Here’s my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That’s it. Eat anything you want—just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.” Hmmm! I’m guessing that would cut out many high-fat unhealthy items from our diets.

 I have been spending much of the day thinking about this article and my absolute love of cooking and baking. Many of the people I know are shocked to learn the kinds of things I might create from scratch. Gnocchi…why make it from scratch when you can buy it frozen from the store? Ice cream…who takes the time (see previous post…not much time is needed) to make it at home? Cakes…why make them if they do not come from a mix or better yet purchased from the local bakery? Even bringing some of the Baked brownies to a work potluck , the first inquiry I encountered was, “Did you really make these yourself?”  The question was asked as if I had just completed some unimaginable task such as building my house with my own hands or walking cross-country!

 Anyway, I guess some of the issues Pollan discussed are what has brought me to Sweet Melissa Sundays and Tuesdays With Dorie. I love to bake things from scratch and I love the idea of developing some kind of connections with other folks who I believe share something with me…a love of learning, baking and sharing those loves with others.

 Thanks, Sweet Melissa bakers for welcoming me into your group. I thought this week’s recipe, the Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, was an ideal start. I have to admit, I approached the recipe with some skepticism. For several hours before starting, I thought of changes I could make to the recipe..add chocolate chips or chopped Butterfinger bars? Add vanilla (I have never seen a peanut butter cookie recipe without vanilla)? But…since it was the first week in the group (and I want to really belong), I thought I would stay true to the original recipe and I was glad that I did. While  I only ended up with 15 cookies (unlike Melissa’s promise of 24), and the cookies (albeit larger) took 16 minutes, not 10, I was extremely pleased with the results. My uniform creations looked much like a cookie you might encounter in a bakery and the chewiness was exactly what Melissa promised. Eat them, but only if you bake them yourself!


Sorry! I can't seem to rotate this photo correctly...but you get the idea!


6 Responses to “Eat What YOU Bake.”

  1. Hanaa Says:

    I’m glad your first SMS recipe turned out to be a success. Your cookies look great. I added vanilla to mine because no cookie should be denied vanilla :o)

  2. Nina Says:

    I’m glad that this was a success for you! I added vanilla to mine too, and a bit of cinnamon. =]

  3. Michelle Says:

    Welcome to SMS group! Im glad you enjoyed this recipe! I really liked these cookies and plan to make them again and again. Did you get to the TWD Banana cake yet? If not make it, it’s so good!

  4. jane S Says:

    the cookies look great! Another baking group!! you are amazing!!

  5. Spike Says:

    hmm, I make a lot of things so I guess I get to eat a lot too! Your cookies look great

  6. I think I might agree with the whole “eat only what you bake” idea. Kinda cuts into the instant gratification that seems to go along with overeating. You’ve given me something to think about.

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