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I was never the gal who liked to play in the kitchen. Even my mud pies as a child were woefully below my standards… and just caused me to stress about the shape of my blobs on the sidewalk.

But I like to eat :) I like to taste flavors and compare textures. I like the ‘gezelligheid’ that can come around a table, as a group of friends or loved ones gather to ‘break bread’ together.

When I studied in London, I missed having good food so much (that was back in the day when the only yumminess to find in London with flavor was curry. That has changed!) that when I went back to the US I made a concerted effort to expand my culinary repertoire of toast and slightly burnt rice.

And I discovered I enjoyed cooking! There’s something about having to think through the process, having to chop everything into neat little shapes, making everything work together – that fed both the mad scientist in me and the control freak.

But baking… never something I liked. I LOVE cake. I LOVE bread. But baking things… always a sort of cock-up when I tried it.

And now… I am sitting hacking away the keyboard, while the apartment smells of apple cinnamon cake and freshly baked bread.

Maybe it’s the influence of Amsterdam that is encouraging me to break FREE and try new things, to experiment and be wild in the kitchen ;) Maybe it’s that I am happy and want to also feel warm and cozy inside today while it’s grey fog and cold outside. Maybe it’s that I got a bread machine as a birthday gift :)

(Of course here I could get all historical and discuss the sociological importance of bread in certain cultures and bread types and how those bread types influenced lifestyle and revolution and such… but… )

Whatever the reason! I am actually BAKING bread! I am actually baking cake. And loving it :)

Of course… I cannot wait to taste it! Half the fun, after all… maybe more… is in the eating! But I’ve discovered the process is also part of the joy. I’m already breaking the bounds of recipes that came with the special flour my dad gave me to do my own thing… and so I hope that when I do finally ‘break this bread’ it will be edible!

At the very least… inside it smells yummy :)

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