I invited a friend over for morning tea today. I got up and drank some pre-tea to get enough caffeine to un-morningize enough to bake scones for us.
I LOVE scones. But not always. I remember tasting them at a coffee shop and be confused about why someone would want to eat dry crumbly flour with their hot beverage.
My momma used to bake biscuits all the time. Biscuits are just the yummiest at all times of the day, with jelly or tomatoes or just by themselves with butter. (ohhh butter biscuits) and once I figured out that scones were just sweet biscuits, well, I found my new favorite treat. I can bake a batch and have them all week for breakfast or toss them around to friends and then everyone is smiling. Which is a goal. Smiles via baked goods are so sincere.
Ok, the point of this post is this… I realize there are lots of cooks out there who are afraid of baking because it involves measuring and commitment and timing and chemistry and mostly that once those dry ingredients get mixed with the wet, well, there’s no going back…………
So, say you got up this morning with the intention of baking some blueberry scones for your friend who thinks of you as a really great “bakestress” already. and then you are sort of tired because usually you drink coffee instead of tea and maybe you are used to MORE caffeine than that. and you get distracted doing the substitution for double acting baking powder, that you FORGET to put in the baking soda. all together. 1/2 tablespoon baking soda missing totally from the recipe. hmmmm.
this happens 15 minutes before the friend is due. the friend that thinks you bake so well… too late to make a new batch. the blueberries are in short supply. there are some clementines? what to do? what to do?????
you cross your fingers and hope hope hope that because you remembered the baking powder….. maybe that will be enough to rise them a little. OR you will get blueberry biscotti rounds…..
Guess what. in the end, these were delicious and they aren’t perfect. a little life lesson on a lovely morning.
Today is Sunday. Often on Sunday, I like to not work… to reflect and such. Particularly I like to bake. And lately I have been baking scones for the weekday breakfast treat…. just a little something for the belly in the morning that is already prepped and only needs to be heated a dash… you know. It’s hard to get out of bed these winter mornings. It’s easier to get out of bed when your breakfast is nearly ready already.
Well, today as I was starting to bake, I thought “there must be some pretty close similarities between printing and baking since I love the processes s much.” I set out to find out how they are the same.
The first thing is that these days, I start baking and printing projects on the computer. For baking, I like to look up a recipe on epicurious.com because I am not limited to what books or magazines I have here. The information super highway works really well for recipes! Today was the first time I have used my iphone in the kitchen. That was pretty funny…. flour on my fingers scrolling down to see what was next…. good thing I bought that screen protector!
For letterpress the typesetting and artwork phase is all done in Illustrator and Photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be old school and all, but typesetting machines are big and require so much space and they melt down lead and there for some reason I don’t want lead all over my hands and everywhere. The true old old school method is handset type – but here again is a space situation. Fonts take up a LOT less space in the hard drive than little letters in all the different sizes and styles would take up in my studio!
Another similarity is the idea of substituting but knowing when and where. Baking is a chemical process – you can’t substitute self rising flour for cake flour. It WON”T work. But you can substitute yogurt for buttermilk and butter for margarine. Much the same in printing when mixing inks… Once I didn’t have a can of rhodamine red ink. – it’s like a bright pinky purple – and a ink recipe called for it. I examined the color, took a chance and substituted florescent pink and rubine red instead. The color was perfect. (the question is why did I have a can of florescent pink and not rhodamine red?!!)
Is this boring? I could go on all day. I can draw some more comparisons another day but let’s do one contrast for now….
You can’t eat the printed paper scone.
Though I do have a source for vegetable paper and probably soy ink is even vegan??!? I’ll have to look into that… but there is hope!