Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TWD: Kids' Thumbprints

My earliest happy memories rose in the kitchen.  Standing on a chair by my bubie’s side, I watched her break eggs, fold with a spatula, operate her Mixmaster, spread, roll and knead and dip a little finger in to taste.  My bubie’s been gone for forty-five years, but she gave me an unshakable love for warm, sweet, salty, yeasty, soft, crunchy, aromatic, handmade food.

I have grown up as Bubie’s Little Baker.  Whatever kitchen I was in, I tried to recreate – with mixer and mortar and pestle – her edible love.

When you make virtually every recipe from a chef’s cookbook, you’re learning their techniques and tastes.  You’re also learning about the person. 

The Dorie Greenspan I’ve come to know is so accomplished her skill is ingrained in her touch.  Is the dough sticky or does it pull away from the bowl?  Does the batter ribbon?  Is the dough chilled enough to roll?  She is decisive but leaves room to haggle.  Plums are preferred, but if apricots are in season change the spices accordingly.  As nice as it is to get to the eating, it’s equally important to set the table with a complementary cup of tea or coffee.  Earl Grey or espresso?

The most important lesson I am taking away is that baking is not just dessert but a course of equal importance to the rest of the meal.  I saw this in my bubie’s hands as she carefully portioned her pinwheels.  I understand this now as an adult through Dorie’s skillful, precise teaching and her intimate stories of baking from her home to mine.

I’ll always be Bubie’s Little Baker, but today I’m also Dorie’s Little Baker.  Thank you Dorie Greenspan for this wonderful experience!

It’s fitting that we end with the delicious childhood combination of peanut butter and jam.  I’ve made this recipe before and will make it again.  And again.  Today I have used three homemade jams – apricot, strawberry and grape jelly.

Please stop by Dorie’s blog to read her post about our baking group, get the recipe and say thanks for her hard work in writing this important baking cookbook.

Also, a heartfelt thanks to Laurie and Julie and everyone who has organized and managed and kept going the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group.  If you haven't been to the Tuesdays With Dorie website, please drop in and say hi and maybe stay for the next round of baking.  Starting in February, we will take on Dorie Greenspan's Baking With Julia.  I hope you'll join us!




31 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed visiting your blog each week. Like visiting a good friend. I too have learned much from Dorie. I've also learned from other bakers as they put their own spin on recipes. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. TWD is full of awesome bakers.
    Have a Happy New Year.

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  2. What fun to read about your title's namesake and your appreciation for learning to bake! Your cookies look wonderful, such fun to be presented with a selection. (And don't think I didn't look for the flowers this week, because I did, and they are right there showing through on the tray! Whew.) See you in February!

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  3. Sweet words about learning to bake with your bubie! And continuing with Dorie, Laurie, and the rest of us. Life won't be the same without TWD. Thank goodness the baking (and blogging and sharing) will go on with BWJ! Thanks for always stopping by my blog!

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  4. Awwww... sweet post! Your cookies look great!

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  5. I love all the jams you used! So very pretty. Thank you so much for baking along with us, its been such a pleasure and I am so glad you plan to jump in on round 2. :)

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  6. What a lovely post! You always have such fun entertaining posts. It has been a pleasure baking with you over the last years! :)

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  7. Beautiful cookies! It's hard to believe the TWD is over!

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  8. Beautiful post! Your comments about Dorie and really insightful. And the image of my mom's mixmaster sticks with me, too :)

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  9. Cute little thumbprints. ANd great jams to use. Glad to see you will also be with BWJ in February. I hemmed and hawed around but finally ordered the book and am ready to go.

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  10. What a beautiful post Clivia. I've always wondered about your blog's name, and now it makes perfect sense. It's been a treat to bake alongside you over the years, and I greatly appreciate that you've stopped by my site to say hi week after week. I won't be baking with the new group, but I'll be following along and visiting your blogs for sure :)

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  11. Amazing thumbprints and what a beautiful post! I've enjoyed getting to know you through TWD!

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  12. they look like glistening little gems!!!

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  13. Three homemeade jams - that's impressive! This was such a nice post. I've loved Dorie's stories and advice too, and the camaraderie of baking with a group. I look forward to baking in the new group with you!

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  14. Hi Hedy, I have enjoyed baking with you the last few years. You were one of the first TWD bakers that got to know when I drew you in the Xmas card swap. I hope to keep baking along with you in the future.

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  15. Beautifully written! What a great baking experience we all have had! Your cookies look delicious!

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  16. It's been great baking with you over the years! i have enjoyed your blog and looking at all your fabulous goodies! I will be joining you for the next baking group!! It's going to be fun:)

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  17. Ciao Clivia ! I loved reading your post and looking at your wonderful cookies ! Hope to be baking with you very soon ! Baci and Happy New Year !

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  18. Finally, I consulted the dictionary and tried to find out what "bubi" means. For you it must sound funny, but for the most time I thought it's a name, like "Bouchon Bakery" or "Lord Stowe's Bakery". Was not that easy to find it out, because the leo, the online dictionary, doesn't know it. But in the end - I found it! Hope to see you again in February - and thnaks for your many comments!

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  19. It has been great baking along with you these last few years. I hope to see you around in 2012. Great looking cookies. You are always an inspiration to me.

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  20. Love your post! So sad to leave behind TWD, but I can't wait for BWJ - see you there! :)

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  21. Your cookies are lovely with all the flavors of jam! It has been so much fun baking through this book and I'm grateful to everyone who did!

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  22. Pretty, pretty rainbow cookies! Love your story, too. I'm looking forward to baking again with new group.

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  23. Mmmm, yummy! Those different jams look fantastic. Congrats on finishing this wonderful group. It has been fun getting to "know" you.

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  24. Your cookies look fabulous. And your words are incredibly sweet and generous. It's been a pleasure!

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  25. What a wonderful, thoughtful post! I love love love your thumbs! The combination and color choices are wonderful! So nice to meet you through TWD - it's been a wonderful few years!

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  26. Such a beautiful post. I hadn't thought about desserts in that way until now - but you're absolutely right; they are an overlooked but important part of the whole meal, and a way for us to connect with the ones we love. Your thumbprints are gorgeous with the varied colors! I've really enjoyed your blog and hope to read lots more in the future.

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  27. I love when jams are on top of cookies, happy new years to everyone as well. Richard

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  28. I've wondered about your blog's name and am so glad you shared your story. And I agree that desserts have a special place in our memories. Looking forward to BWJ and more happy baking in 2012.

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  29. Beautiful pictures. Great cookies. Thanks for being part of a great group...I really loved learning along with you all.

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