Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's good to have goals. And cake. Or both.

I am always impressed by people who have goals.  Or at least people who follow through with their goals.  Sadly, I am not usually among this population.  Oh sure, I can do the little stuff.  I once had a goal of driving a Toyota Corolla; now I drive a Toyota Corolla.  I once wanted to try Sweet Corn Ice Cream at the State Fair.  Mission accomplished on that one, too.

Generally, when it comes to the big stuff, I am 50/50 on completion.  College degree?  Check.  Boyfriend?  No check.  Graduate degree?  Almost check.  Millionaire?  No check.  You see?

If I had to specify an area of my life where many goals fall by the wayside, it would have to be in the side project/hobby category.  For example, inspired by the blog/book/movie spectacle of "Julie/Julia," I took matters into my own hands and decided to set my sights on a more attainable goal:  I would bake my way through the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.  Oh, and I would blog about it.

Well, I did create and write a blog for the recipes I managed to do.  The problem with this was that I undertook the project while on winter break in my first year of grad school.  When one has a full winter month of no homework and no responsibilities, baking is not such a difficult task.  Sadly, once classes resumed, I had only made it through the first rounds, and I was closing in on some flavors that were highly unappealing.  Some may have involved raisins.  Yuck.

The blog itself and all of its magical five posts are still available at http://cookybooky.blogspot.com/  Please don't judge me based on the fact that I cannot do food photography for the life of me.  This was before I ever looked at the Pioneer Woman's blog and was put to shame by her beautifully lit creations.  I blame my shortcomings on the fact that there are no windows in my kitchen.  Right.

To get more to my point, this weekend (at the Fair), I purchased a cook book at the MPR stand.  Does this sound odd to you?  Perhaps it is but I find that I do not care.  It is called "All Cakes Considered," by Melissa Gray.  It is a cake cookbook, obviously, but it is more than that.  Ms. Gray spent a year bringing cakes into work every Monday to try out on her coworkers.  Also, she spends quite a bit of time elaborating on the sometimes neglected necessary steps to successful cake baking.

I was intrigued, it was cheap, I am an MPR member, so I bought it.  Don't get too excited, I have no intention of bringing a new cake into the office every week, but it has been a looooooong time since I did baking of any kind, and I have that lovely KitchenAid Stand Mixer just sitting on my counter begging to be used, so I figured, why not try a few out?

So tonight I will attempt to bake a cake.  If it turns out well, I will let you know.  Now that the weather is cooling, the use of my oven does not seem so onerous to me.  If the cake turns out, my coworkers will reap the benefits.  If I fail, my garbage can will be a little fuller this week.  I hope all the kitchen activity does not confuse my dog too much as she has never known me to use much besides the microwave. 

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