Sunday, January 2, 2011

In search of something new...

    I absolutely love the film "Sabrina"... you know, the black and white version starring Audrey Hepburn and Humprey Bogart?  I guess a part of me has always felt a little bit like her character in that movie.  She's lonely, unsure of herself, and stares longingly from a tree branch at the starry bright life she wishes for.  For a long time I believed that what I wanted out of life was impossible to obtain, it was unreachable, that what I needed to feel whole was something that I simply just couldnt get to.  However much has changed in a certainly takes many turns, and frankly I've taken a 180.  I now feel like I could someday go to Paris, as Sabrina did, and learn from the top pastry chefs, eat the most decadent desserts, and fall in love by the Eiffel Tower.  As far and away as these dreams of mine may be, at least they are imaginable, at least I know there is something out there that I'd love to do and can hopefully someday live up to, even if it just turns out that I stay in CT, learning how to make pate a choux and creme anglaise from the most renowened cook book, and fall in love with a tall, dark, sweet piece of chocolate. 

      I'm a fresh college grad and in search of something...what I dont really know...but something to fill a void that has consumed me for an unbearably long time.  Did you ever just feel like something is waiting for you, that there is soemthing somewhere anxiously anticipating your arrival?  Some days I feel like that, I feel like there is something purposuful out there destined for me to bring meaning to it. I've battled a difficult past, certainly not tragic, but challenging enough to provoke me to change the way I think, feel, believe, anticipate, eat, sleep, and excersise.  Food ironically has been the constant in my life, we have this love hate relationship that seems to go from one extreme to the other, now a days im trying really hard to keep an even's much harder than it should be.  I know people tend to personify food, in that it comforts them, makes them happy, and is reliably always there.  This is true for me and I've got to be honest that food certainly attributed to my new lease on life.  It tended to make me crazy when I ate to much of it, happy during the rare splurge, and sad when it didn't satisfy that deep, internal hunger. I didn't find healing in the consumption of food, however making it seemed to noursih my soul allowing me to continually crave that feeling of purpose, peacefulness, and satisfaction. 

      With in the past year I've been baking so much that I believe I've burned out the motor in my mother's Kitchen Aid stand mixer....hopefully she hasn't found out yet, I'm not quite sure of the life span on those things.  I'm absolutely in love with the whole baking process.  From finding Guittard chocolate, to searching for the best recipe, to discovering the infinitate possibilities of butter, sugar, and flour. I think I've found my passion.  During my freshman year of college my English professor asked the class, "when do you feel alive?" I wasn't able to honestly answer that question until this past February when I was making my second batch of venetian cookies (tri-level rainbow cookies).  As I was crumbling the almond paste over the food processessor, my hair pulled tightly away from my face, listenting to a CD my brother made for me a few Christmas' before, I hovered over the kitchen table truly feeling alive, believing that in that single moment I was meant to be right where I was.  Baking in so many ways saved me from a dark depression that I truly feel would have swallowed me whole.  I have found something I love, I have found passion and purpose in the art of baking. 

     I've had no real training, other than watching my Italian grandma make homemade bread, help my late aunt fill a trifle bowl the size of a five gallon pale, and fill cream puffs with my mom using freshly whipped cream, my absolute favorite.  I've always had a sweet tooth and I truly believe in eating dessert first.  I grew up scaling my dinner based on what was for dessert, as I still tend to do.  I think there is true beauty in baking, it is an art and is certainly something that is to be appreciated for its mastery of skill, its impeccable presentation, and for its supreme taste.  I love to create something that can be enjoyed by alomst anyone, I love being able to make someone else smile just by simply offering them a cookie. 

       I've spent a long time wondering about different things and dreaming about a life that I truly felt was out of my reach, as I search for something new I thought why not create something I can share with others who can accompany me on my journey.  I would love to hear from anyone who has any questions, suggestions, tips, or recipes that you would love to share with me.  I consider myself the dilettante baker, as I am no master but simply a dabbler who loves the fine art of creating sweet confections by hand.