So, it's like... 11:28p as I'm starting to write this. I've just put a bunch of thumbprint cookies in the oven. Let me make a confession: as much as I love cooking, I am pretty balls at baking. I'm being modest, you say? Ok. I am only passable at baking. Really, I'm nothing short of terrified of it. I mean, think about it. You can waste entire cups of staple goods: butter, sugar, flour, etc. if something goes wrong. And sometimes, you don't know if it's gone wrong until it comes out of the oven and you've cut or bitten into it.
How many times have I bitten into an underdone muffin, a burnt cake? How many times have I pulled something out of the oven, eying it suspiciously, then turning it over to cool on a rack only to find that the cake has split in half and the other half is still stuck in the pan? I know what to do when stuff goes wrong in a saute pan, but if this cookie dough is crumbly and sticking to my fingers, I have no idea what to do. I mean, how is that even possible?! There are crumbly things and there are sticky things. How can this be both at the same time?
I can just buy pre-made cookie dough. I can purchase baked goods at a bakery. I can hold my friends at gunpoint and make them bake for me. Then why, oh why, do I feel the urge to bake when the weather turns cool? Admittedly, I have a rather poorly-insulated house; it holds heat about as well as a person holds an angry badger with diarrhea. But an alternative form of heat is not a good enough reason to get your hands all goopy, go out of your mind washing measuring spoons and cups, and have giant bowls crusted with flour to be scrubbed angrily later.
I think it might be the wonder of taking these raw ingredients and turning them into something pretty and edible. Flour, water, egg, sugar, butter in a lump in a bowl isn't very appetizing (though the smell is, kinda), but putting it into dry heat firms it, makes it toothsome and golden. My whole house is now filled with sweet smells. When I pull out the cookies, each of them will have a little distilled gem of summertime embedded inside.
I think also two sticks of butter might have something to do with my desire to bake.
Rule: Somebody teach me how to bake. Also, never use "amirite" un-ironically. Also, the jam inside the thumbprint will always be way too hot to eat right out of the oven. Just sayin'.