Bake Bake Bake / by Kate Brightbill


We baked today. 

Yes, you saw that right. I've been in the mood to spend time in the kitchen! These moods rarely strike, but I think it has something to do with the calendar switching to September, and me starting to think of cider and fall scents. Fall gets me every time. We also have this giant apple tree FULL, and I mean FULL of apples {shall I capitalize the word "full" one more time for extra effect? Indeed, it is FULL}.

Last year when the tree filled with apples and we were eating and making apple-based foods for three solid months, I expected to have an apple burnout... The apple tree eventually stopped producing apples when "winter" came, and it was the strangest thing: I missed eating apple everything. What? Now I need to actually go buy apples at the grocery store? It was the opposite of burnout. It was like somehow our bodies had become addicted to apples. There are worse vices to have, yes? I can name two of my own {if you must know: jalapeno chips and good sour candy}. 


I digress. 

The full apple tree meant that it was time to get our baking caps on and begin filling the home with cinnamon and other such loveliness. Thankfully we live in San Francisco, where at least a small portion of the day is sure to have white fluffy cloud coverings that tell us to be cozy, so it's all very fitting. I made up some fool-proof recipe that allowed my littles to do the work themselves, but it wouldn't take hours to get it done & clean. We used puff pastry sheets, which are almost always a delicious idea. Three and five are the perfect ages for baking lessons! They were ridiculously adorable, and incredibly focused.

Maggie was in charge of mixing a cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar mixture {as usual, I measured nothing}, Sophie helped me collect and wash apples. We stuck the peeled apples in a pot with cinnamon and a tiny bit of water to soften for about 10 minutes, and let them cool. I sliced our defrosted puff pastry dough into squares and distributed them as the girls filled them: first the cooled cinnamon apples, then a spoonful of mixture, then a tiny square of butter that I had cut, then they folded the four corners to the center and voila! Into the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes - and complete! I'm not sure what to call them, but they tasted perfect. They're not pies, not turnovers- something in between. The girls were content to call them "treats," so I will follow suit.

These were delicious fresh out of the oven- the girls and I ate our portions as soon as they were cool. The girls were thrilled about every step of the baking. I realize I've been missing the boat on letting them cook and bake with me, and perhaps it's time I put aside my aversion to the kitchen, and begin enjoying making food for their sake. They make things way more fun for me too. I just laugh at their adorable antics... and scold them lightly when they snitch all the goods before they're baked {my mother can tell you-  I'm the ultimate dough snitcher, so I cannot properly scold them without being truly hypocritical}. Brian reheated his for a true dessert and I was a little jealous I had already eaten mine! Just an excuse to bake again tomorrow!

{Looks like it may be time to get back on the pilates wagon! ;)}