I'm a desultory cook; uninspired, rather resentful that the onus of meals defaults onto my leave-me-alone-and-let-me-read shoulders. Of course I breastfed my babies; it was the easiest way to avoid the kitchen entirely.
Unfortunately, my husband would rather subsist on peanut butter sandwiches three meals a day than cook, and neither of the kids turned into a hybrid vigor in the culinary department, so I trudge on, turning to Fanny Farmer or one of the spiralbound church- or community-group- issued publications from my hometown when I feel obligated to produce something that's more than merely edible. Pathetic, c'est moi.
But for Christmas I got a KitchenAid stand mixer and after a few days of admiring its color, I concluded that to justify the amount of counter space it was consuming I'd better learn to use it. Goodbye, baked potatoes; hello, mashed potatoes/winter squash medley. L. was interested enough in the machine to take over washing its bowl and the beater every time I made something. When I mentioned I'd like to make sourdough bread, he grew some starter that might have been of use to Alexander Fleming; through persistence, we now have a couple jars of starter in the refrigerator that might make a few decent loaves of bread.
My biggest success so far has been a Devil's Food White-Out cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, a book I spotted on the new books cart several days back and that we've all drooled over since I brought it home. As you can see from the photo, I went a little overboard in covering the icing with chocolate crumbs, but oh my, did that cake taste good. It didn't last 24 hours. Maybe I'll make another this weekend.
Or try a new recipe.