Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the September 2022 Issue of Betterbaking.com.
If youâ€™ve been following my newsletters over the years you know I used to have a like/dislike relationship with summer. For most of my life, I dreaded summer right off the mark. In mid-June Iâ€™d begin protesting the hot, dry days I knew lay ahead that were only underscored by the frigid air conditioning blast of indoor malls. I never felt as inspired to cook or bake and I would feel guilty staying inside. Summer says: do something, make hay, follow the sun and fun which is fine for most people. But Iâ€™m autumn and winter folk in my soul and I only pretended to like summer because who wants to seem like a party pooper?
As the years have gone by, I gave summer amnesty and got into it more and more and simply gave up the fight. Around July I begin luxuriating in the warmth, having morning tea on the deck, visiting garden centers and taking long walks just before sunset. I read in the parks or cafes and take trips to outdoor markets and drown myself in corn on the cob. And then just as I decide summer and me are friends what do you know - itâ€™s fall, my favorite season! Somehow it just sneaks up on you and here we are on this lovely September lst morning. But you know what? For a few minutes on the first nippy morning, Iâ€™m sad. I miss what I thought was endless summer or perhaps itâ€™s part of life â€“ learning to say goodbye to something before putting out the welcome mat for something new. Happily the overlap between dreading it and loving it is getting smaller leaving more of a seasonal vista to enjoy without fretting.
As for the fall-now-officially-here, I spent last weekend bringing in my geraniums to see if theyâ€™ll adapt to inside life. I also created a new autumn fireplace mantle from my stash of fall splendor, i.e. all the elements that are symbolic of this time of year. I still have a lavender wreath on my door but Iâ€™m at work on a new one thatâ€™s replete with maple leaves and the pinecones I brought from my former house to this one. Squirrely person that I am I knew Iâ€™d one day have a purpose for them. Just to be clear, doing the mantle and making wreaths is as crafty as I get. I only knit if I am anxious and Iâ€™m delighted to confess I havenâ€™t ever finished so much as a scarf. I failed at crocheting, and forget about painting or pottery and I am so-so on needlepoint. But baking (and wreaths I can do.
That being said (to quote YouTube influencersâ€™ parlance), â€˜letâ€™s jump right inâ€™ and showcase the baking for this month. Itâ€™s a bit early for bake-to-school treats as well as Rosh Hashanah so I thought Iâ€™d simply share some seasonal flavors which translate as cinnamon and apples.
The Ukrainian Babka is wonderful but I couldnâ€™t find much more information on it although I put a shout-out to the Ukrainian (new and old) in Montreal. If anyone knows more than me please let me know. You can also check this link: https://www.ukrainianclassickitchen.ca/index.php?topic=1263.0&fbclid=IwAR0ScTSweo1_nKE9MswjDgk3wKRAFptzYTTzyTIdd8OEWO9AArz_BYaxna0
Otherwise you can expect this beautiful coffeecake to taste like the love child or a babka and a brioche. The duet of loaf cakes I couldnâ€™t resist. Quick breads are so amazing and when we make one itâ€™s general a banana loaf. But the Cranberry Loaf and the Cinnamon Ripple Loaf are two for your repertoire and a lovely entry into fall. The Apple Strudel is because itâ€™s about time we stepped up to the plate and made real strudel. Itâ€™s the stretch type and itâ€™s easy â€“ I promise. I use a combination of Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Cortland Apples for this. You can choose some sweet, soft apple and add in a few cups of grated, tangy Granny Smith if you like.
As for Rosh Hashanah at the end of the month, there are tons of New Yearâ€™s recipes on my website as well as in my two Jewish cookbooks and Iâ€™m happy to suggest something if you need any assistance.
As we approached the mellow and honeyed days of early fall, Iâ€™m sending you warm wishes from my kitchen to yours,
Master Baker, Author
1997-2022 25th Silver Anniversary Year
This issue of Betterbaking.com is dedicated to the beloved memory of my Aunt Beryl Cowan Goldman, May 16th 1924-August 31st 2022
Zavyvanets or Ukrainian Babka
Free!! Old Fashioned Stretch Apple Strudel
Cinnamon Ripple Quick Bread
Cranberry Orange Tea Bread