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Naperville
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Real Life – Baked Alaska

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My husband John and I expressed ourselves through cooking before the concept of love languages was a thing.

Neither of us had come from culinary families, though my mother-in-law’s insatiable sweet tooth led to baking.

A subscription to Bon Appetit magazine completely changed the way we looked at food, learning that it was possible to concoct delectable creations, just by following directions.

For an early wedding anniversary, we baked a whole fish in puff pastry. As time went on, we began hosting brunches and dinner parties, as much for the fun of experimenting with new dishes as for the chance to spend time with our friends.

We initiated the tradition of making weekend pancakes when we came into possession of some sourdough starter. As time went on, we tired of feeding the mother-starter, so defaulted to using fresh buttermilk.

Our children expected pancakes, and as they got older, their friends did, too. Kids were exposed to rutabaga, artichokes, and capers around our table. And yes, though food snobs can be insufferable, if you ever see anything other than fresh vegetables and pure maple syrup in our refrigerator, you will know something’s gone seriously awry.

Although I am not a dessert person, I very much enjoy baking pies for special occasions. I branched out from the crust recommended on the vegetable oil label early on, and began to experiment. I now find myself in possession of several kinds of rolling pins, not to mention a substantial collection of aprons to protect from the inevitable flour spills—which reminds me that I need to pick up a bench scraper one of these days.

Baked Alaska was a multistage construction adventure I undertook once, to bring home for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of work, more fun to make than it was to eat, and I didn’t have the right audience.

Pies, however, are always a hit.

What a great way to share the love! (c)

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Patti Koltes
Patti Koltes
Real Life © by Patti Koltes. Contact her at pkoltes@gmail.com.

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