Hi team! Like all of you, it’s been a busy year. I’ve had some transitions, and am looking to have some more coming up, all part of life’s journey. Through it all, I’m always cooking, sharing, and connecting with others through food. I had the good fortune to attend a book talk by Chef Magnus Nilsson, who is one of my favorite chefs/people (take a look at his restaurant’s website and you’ll see why).
If you keep up with my facebook page, you’ll recall a recent post about being a cook vs. being a baker. To my absolute delight, when I opened Magnus’ new book, one of the very first pages addressed just that topic. “…in cooking you can be a bit more playful when you follow recipes, while in baking you have to follow them to the letter. I don’t think this is true at all.” I wholeheartedly agree. Somehow, for generations, people have been baking without understanding the science behind it. Don’t think I don’t value research and science, of course I do, but thinking that is the only way to bake? Come on.
As I listened to his talk I came to understand that his new book is not a cookbook, but a documentary book of traditional recipes from the Nordic region. He talked about the diversity of baking in the Nordics, stemming from the focus on home baking rather than a standardized format. That each family has a style that may be similar to their neighbor because of the ingredients available, yet resulting in something that is unique to their household.
I love this idea, because this is how I cook, and bake. If you want something to turn out exactly the same every time, I am probably not your chef. Every apple, every bag of flour, has some variation. Humidity, weather, and feelings dictate how a dish turns out. Remember that movie from 1992, Like Water for Chocolate? Whatever the main character felt, changed how she cooked, and while I probably won’t make you cry with my tears, your experience with my cooking is directly related to how I feel.
I hope I get to bake you a pie, a cake, or make you some soup soon. I love to share food, ideas, skills, and connection with you.