There are few areas in my life that I am absolutely passionate about. My family is the first thing that comes to my mind. Yesterday on my way to Bethesda, I was driving within ten minutes of the school that my sister works at. Despite not being able to reach her on her cell phone, I stopped in. I hoped that we could go to lunch or even I could bring us lunch to eat in little chairs. But no such luck. She had a group to work with while I was there and we only had a few moments to spend together. She called me on her way home from work and we chatted for about fifteen minutes. Somehow in that time, she and I had an intense conversation about our futures. Lord, I don’t know how this stuff happens, but it does. My point is that while I didn’t have to stop and see her and really didn’t see her much, it was important for me to let her know that I would have loved to eat lunch together.
Oddly enough, I am so passionate about my house. It is quirky on the exterior and I have said many times that I would never have gone in if the real estate agent hadn’t been there. There were no interior photos to show me the 30 foot ceilings, the walk in closet in the master, the awful (have been completely gutted) shell shaped sinks or the glorious kitchen. But after just 18 months, I freaking love this house. Brooks and I put every extra moment we have into making it look better. Currently we are obsessed with making the exterior look it’s best. Up next is a new front door, garage door and two sliding glass doors on the back. We added new shutters, new landscaping and mow the yard in perfectly straight lines. Each time we mow, we alternate between horizontal and vertical in the quest of that checkerboard pattern. My sister tells me this is a sign of rigidity we should not have at 26. I say it is a sign of perfectionism that owning a home has instilled in me.
The thing that I truly love and wish I could spend every day working on is cooking. I love to have any excuse to make something. I spend more moments than I should perusing allrecipes.com in the hopes of finding something I love. I read blogs that talk about cooking and try recipes that sound fabulous. Most of my cooking time is spent baking and I’ll admit that I have an apron that I love to put on. It has finger marks created by flour and streaks of whatever I cooked last. But there is something about creating a fabulous cookie and having people share it. I love putting something tasty in a container for Brooks to take to work. I think about making fresh rolls to give to our neighbor as thanks for letting us borrow their ladder. Half of the foods that I make, like the apple pie last week, I will eat a serving of and then wait for Brooks to consume the rest. It is not that I couldn’t devour the rest of the pie in one sitting, it is that the joy of making the food is what I crave, not so much the pie itself.
So it should come as no surprise that I am the office overacheiver when it comes to preparing foods for office parties and breakfasts. Last week we had a bridal shower which was horribly awkward and uncomfortable, which all office parties of this sort are, but I was determined to make her favorite angel food cake. I was also determined that I would make them from scratch. I searched allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com, my two go to sources. I found a recipe that had great reviews and decided I could do this. I created an icing in my head and went to town.
The recipe had so many good reviews and claims of such a simple yet delicious result. I was hooked. It started with the normal ingredients, lots of egg whites. It required me to sift the flour and sugar three times. Kind of a pain in the ass when you see the size of my sifter. I wasn’t deterred though, this was going to be the best damn angel food cake cuppiecakes EVER. Ever, I tell you. I began mixing. I remained mixing. I mixed for over 25 damn minutes. 25 minutes is just when I started looking at the clock, so that tells you that I had to mix it forever. And did I mention that this was with a hand mixer? Eventually once it looked like this, I decided that was close enough to stiff peaks for me.
I added in the rest of the ingredients and was prepared for my failure to bake in the oven.
I decided to sample the first one that came out for perfection or failure. To my surprise, they were tasty, with or without icing. I iced them after cooling with a simple cream cheese, strawberry yogurt and marshmallow fluff icing. I made a small hole in the center of each to use up some of the icing I had created and topped it all with a fresh strawberry.
All and all they were fabulous and way better than store bought or the mix kind. But unless you have a stand mixer, they are not quite worth the time and “passion” I put into them.