Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Small Blessings

I was blessed with the discovery of a collection of pictures on my camera tonight, ones that I had not deleted after the last time I uploaded them. Pictures of the last month of my summer vacation, one of the most exhausting and painfully memorable times of my life, when I lay in a hospital bed every day. Pictures of my parents, who babied and encouraged me every step of the way. Pictures of my brother, who over the past few weeks has become a closer friend, mentor, and guide. Pictures of my boyfriend, who reminded me to follow the words of God and trust that He will provide.

And of course, pictures of the petite sweets I made when I was able to move about.

Just for the record, I take pictures of the goods I bake for the mere sake of capturing my progress, not to showcase my photography "skills" (meaning, I have none); hence, the lack of sophistication and quality.

Almond tarts. My dad loves all kinds of nuts and nut-flavored foods, so I include peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and almonds in nearly everything I make for him. The filling (made of almond meal) is similar to that of a pecan pie without the crunchiness of the nuts, and easily melts in the mouth; the crust is light, crispy, and not as sweet, which makes for a great balance to the almond filling.

Cornmeal cookies. My mom adores cornbread and almost always snags a piece whenever she sees it in a restaurant. I frequently make her cornbread at home, but for a change and a slight twist, these cookies sounded adequate. They were piped through a small star tip, and half were dipped in melted white chocolate. I used medium grind cornmeal, which has a somewhat gritty texture, but I'm certain that this is what gives the cookies their uniqueness.

Marbled green tea sugar cookies. On my mom's birthday two months ago, my family ventured to Old Town Pasadena, where there happened to be a specialty tea store. I spied a 2-ounce canister of matcha powder that seemed cheaper than those I had seen elsewhere, complete with bamboo whisk, so I immediately bought it. My parents informed me that the first bite didn't contain much of the green tea essence, but the slightly sweet, grassy flavor increased gradually as the cookie was consumed.

Yes, my family members are the main guinea pigs for my baking experiments, which is pretty convenient!

I only wish I could remember the recipes I used.

I am constantly reminded that I will be graduating in approximately eight months, that I will officially become an adult in the world outside of college in less than a year. A part of me trembles in timidness and nervous anticipation, but the rest of me is already preparing to dash forward and see the next chapter of life. But in order to actually progress to the next step, I must complete the pile of homework and reading assignments sitting patiently near my laptop. And so...until next time!

God bless.