Dear Friends and Fellow Bakers,
Welcome to the June 2022 Issue of BB!
Summer is in full swing here in Montreal and for many of you around the globe except for my friends in places such as New Zealand and Australia where itâ€™s coming into fall. But as you lovely Aussies (hi Diane!) and Kiwis (hi Leone) bake along with me, I guess youâ€™re in â€˜myâ€™ season here. Iâ€™ll try not to create recipes that call for things not available on your end. I myself cringe when that happens. Iâ€™m reminded of it each I forget to stock up on cranberries because the next thing I know itâ€™s suddenly summer, Iâ€™m testing Thanksgiving recipes and thereâ€™s no â€˜bogâ€™ berries to be found! The same thing happens in winter when I want something with rhubarb and I'm out of luck.
We take so much for granted and I realize that even more with the supply chain issues. I also clutch hearing the forecasting of wheat shortages for reasons too grim to mention here. But happily, and this is no state secret, Canada and the USA have thrown millions to our wonderful wheat farmers in both countries to start planting more wheat (and less canola) so that weâ€™ll be rolling in wheat for a long time to come. Itâ€™s probably a reminder to our governments to cherish our beloved grainy prairies and farmers a bit more.
Summer of course, implies fruity things but anything goes these days because baking is all about satisfying a whim which is more about mood. As far as baking goes, I'm peckish lately and toggle from sweet to savoury recipes such as cheddar biscuits and then it's pecan bars. You'd think that would make me a candidate for sweet-salty things but that is so not me. Pick a side! I'm still hard at work on my sourdough bread but lately have a hankering for biscuits, or sugar cookies or country-style or grandma baking as youâ€™ll see by this monthâ€™s recipe offerings.
I recently checked on baking trends too just to see if I am in a zeitgeist place and the answer is yes, a little bit. Baking is still being embraced despite the pandemic waning (or so we insist). Artisanal baking, sourdough, old-time comfort baking (sugar cookies is one of the hottest recipe searches) are all go-to's, there's also still a run on butter, sugar, vanilla and flour (and alas, pour bananas, I knew them well).
I also discovered a new term:Â bougie baking.Â BougieÂ baking seems toÂ mean baking that aspires to be upscale and â€˜fancyâ€™ or simply pretty. I get that; Iâ€™ve always gotten that but I just didnâ€™t know there was a term for it. Bougie baking might also mean a decadent, upbeat coffeecake that looks bakery-style fancy versus a homey, rustic bread. You know what? It's a term - but I haven't really got a fix on what it means but it's out there.
Aside from baking, my summer is off to a hectic start since I stillÂ have some book clubs to host and already am deeply entrenched in choosing my book club books for the fall. I'm currently auditioningÂ The Reading ListÂ byÂ Sara Nisha Adams which is heartwarming.Â I know what you're thinking: it's June, I have to sit on my deck with the cardinals and a cup of strawberry tea feet up, just reading novel after novel. It's a travail - what can I tell you? I've also ventured back to the pool for laps and recently I've added a ballet challenge. Ballet for adultsÂ isÂ a thing and I'm all in with on-line bar and centerwork classes. The newest Netflix deep dive is Call My Agent which is so good,Â evenÂ with subtitles (my nemesis), I feel like the cast is my alter family. There's a British version on Prime called 10Percent if you prefer.
Warm greetings from my kitchen to yours,Â and as always, happy baking. Wishing you sweet times in the kitchen and life, and enough sun and rain to make a perfect June.
Master Baker, Author
Morning Glory Muffins
Tale as old as time, a recipe as gold as wheat! Morning Glory Muffins, bursting with dried fruit, shredded carrots and spice is as good in 2022 as it was in 1978 by Earthbound Farm's culinary consultant, Chef Pam McKinstry. Here it is totally revamped but just as awesome!
Ice tea Lemon Bars
This is old-fashioned Jewish baking at its finest. Itâ€™s a cross between a cakey strudel and babka. Although it takes yeast, thereâ€™s no rise (or kneading) involved. A treasure.