Maybe it is because October is in the fall and fall tends to mean pumpkin pie, candied apples, ghoulish treats, candies in bite size packages, apple cider donuts, fudge, candy corn, the strawberry cheesecake that Tiffany’s mom made for her birthday every year, plentiful desserts at Thanksgiving such as pecan pie and apple pie, and even more chocolates, candy canes, and ribbon candy for the month of December. It appears from the time she was born, Tiffany didn’t have a chance to not love sugary concoctions.
This love for sugary goodness, which is still a staple in Tiffany’s diet, became a means of gift gifting. Coming from a large family, birthdays and holidays were shared by baking and sharing sentimental sweets, as well as many other crafts. Honing in on baking when she was 8 years old, Tiffany would bake with family, learning how to cook her favorite oatmeal raisin cookies, banana bread, corn bread, and cheesecake that was her birthday cake of choice; and on her own learned how to focus her baking skills, trying new recipes, how to read cookbooks, and manipulate the recipes. This is also how she learned the different abbreviations such as “tsp” is equivalent to “t” and “tbsp” is equivalent to “T”, the difference between a “dash” versus a “pinch”, and how a recipe changes when adding oil, butter, lard (older cookbooks), margarine, or applesauce.
One important lesson Tiffany learned while baking cookies for the first time, and learning how to read a cookbook, was to make sure not to switch baking powder with baking soda in the recipe (unless you are adding 2 parts cream of tartar to one part of the baking soda to make a baking powder substitute). You can swap baking soda for baking powder (3 tsp baking powder for every 1 tsp baking soda – or just a 3:1 ratio of powder to soda), but the other way around you lose the acidity needed for the recipe. Moreover, too much baking powder or using baking soda when it should be baking powder can really change the flavor of the recipe as she found out when trying to bite into a finished cookie. The batch was so bad, she tossed them out.
In time, you’ll see that Tiffany is a baker by trial and error. She never uses just one recipe, even when baking something new. She likes to see what is out there, determine the similarities or what she considers to be the skeleton of the recipe, then seeing what she can change, add, and/or take out to make the recipe her own.
You may not find traditional banana bread by Tiffany, but you may find banana-blueberry bread, Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake, tropical dream cake (this is more of a funny story to be told), and some dabbling in side dishes. Her partner in cooking crime, and life, Tim, will focus more on the savory while Tiffany dances in desserts, but together they make an unstoppable cooking team, taking over one eating occasion at a time.
From one sweet tooth to another, welcome to Lukewarm Legumes. Let the baking begin! 🙂