Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Daring Bakers Make Stollen

In Daring Bakers, Yeast Breads on December 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm
From Adriana Baking

After packing my favorite measuring cup, a sieve, and a container filled with cocoa powder and sugar, we drove up to my grandparents’ house in the late afternoon of the 24th.  We were going up to spend Christmas Eve with my mother’s side of the family, and this year, the meal was going to be completely homemade.

Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ had been catered for as long as I can remember. Preparing the meal was almost an impossible feat for my grandmother – she had my cousins to look after and a full house to take care of. It took time too, to prepare such a feast. It was the only catered food I consumed all year, and I never thought much of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Frosting

In Chocolate, Cookies, Frostings and Icings on December 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’m sitting on the black woven chair by the computer, glowing and alert after a good night’s sleep. The past few days of vacation I have spent at home, learning how to relax again. I never expected high school to be easy, a few years that I could live through without putting in effort. The last week of school before vacation drained the energy from my body until I was waking tired and cranky, and struggling to keep my heavy lids from drooping down during biology class. I couldn’t even manage to fall asleep when I crawled into bed. Often, it would be hours before I floated into a land of unconsciousness – I couldn’t keep my mind off schoolwork. Teachers always seem to load us with homework, deadlines, and upcoming tests just before a break, leading us to crash into Christmas vacation exhausted. Read the rest of this entry »

My Search for Perfection

In Brownies and Bars on December 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’ve always tried to put as much effort as I can muster into every project I submit myself to, though I’m okay with results less than perfect if I know that I did my very best.  But when I don’t, I feel empty and dissatisfied – like a fruitless apple tree in the season of full bloom with the potential to produce so much more.

Recently, I started taking clarinet lessons with a new teacher. Within a few minutes of meeting him, I knew my lessons would be completely changed – he was intense, and passionate about music. I learned very quickly that he would never be satisfied, because “There is no top. There are always further heights to reach” (Jascha Heifetz). And I think that is wonderful. He is constantly pushing me to express myself through music, teaching me new techniques and encouraging me, because he knows I am capable of doing better and becoming a better musician. I have had three lessons with him so far, and I can already feel drastic improvement in my playing. Read the rest of this entry »