This week I am baking up a storm for our church’s annual fancy bake sale, Confection Selection, that benefits the local Pregnancy Network. Baking reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese, which is a laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining book, particularly if you’ve ever been caught with the “I can make that myself” bug in the kitchen.
Is that really a good rule?
‘Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself,’ Michael Pollan writes in Food Rules. ‘If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them – chances are good it won’t be every day.’
Oh, Michael Pollan, you underestimate me.
I can whip up a batch of fudge or salted caramels or batch of cookies all too quickly and easily. And eating caramels is so much preferable to wrapping them…
And, for a bonus, here’s another of my favorite parts from the book:
When my daughter, Isabel, was small and I worked full-time at an office, I used to pick her up at day care and rush to get home, where, if I put her in front of Dragon Tales and ran straight to the kitchen, I could get the chicken into the oven within fifteen minutes. Then I scrubbed my hands like a surgeon, sanitized everything the raw chicken had come within three feet of, mixed a gin and tonic, set the table, and tossed a salad. We never ate before eight, by which time Isabel was cantankerous and I was a little drunk.
I used to eye the rotisserie chickens, those warm, whiskey-brown birds under the heat lamp near the cash register at the supermarket. They smelled so seductive I wondered how a person could get one home without stopping by the side of the road to eat it with her fingers. My mother, by then a divorcee who was feeding only her footloose self, was always buying rotisserie chickens. I looked down on her for it. Rotisserie chickens were what you ate when you gave up. No, I was going to turn myself into a human pretzel to give my family a proper Norman Rockwell roast bird dinner at least once a week.
I so relate. And, we’re going to have a Costco rotisserie chicken for dinner on Monday. I guess I’ve given up on Norman Rockwell. ;)