Hosting and entertaining is a big part of our joy with friends and our work as well. This year I have found that cooking can be more than just a chore. With a friend or two, and a nice exciting recipe, cooking can become entertainment. Jeannie calls this recreational cooking. Recently I’ve discovered that baking bread for example can be a great way to relax around the house – not only is it much more productive than napping, it’s also delicious. I admit it’s fun to hear the compliments in a culture where only professionals bake bread and make cheese.
But my new hobby has some limits. Recently I was trying to get my bread to rise in the winter. I turned the oven on (lowest possible setting) and set my dough inside. But now my tupperware thatsabowl has scars. Apparently tupperware isn’t intended for the oven, what I really need is a giant metal mixing bowl like Grammies :
I’ve also been making cheese. First I made it for me because I was craving philly cream cheese, but it’s like any hobby, you start seeing new possibilities, and the whole thing snow ballls. I made cheese for a humanitarian conference we attended last month. I made cheese in order to make a cheesecake for the gospel choir. And now I’m dreaming of having multipule cheese cloths so that I can make more at a time. (I can make 1 cheesecake from 6 litres of milk) Or better yet a cheese press, so I could make other kinds of cheese. (I bid on one on e-bay recently, but I didn’t get it).
And then there’s my jelly fetish … some of the Parisians we know have family that live in the country side and everytime a fruit comes in season they call in the troops to help make jelly. I picked some quetchs plums at a friends house this fall, but I ate them all before I got back to Paris. So what did I do, I went to the farmers market and bought a kilo of peaches. Did you know you can make preserves from almost anything, just by adding sugar and heat?