Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dog Days of Summer? More Like Mad Dogs

From the middle of June and to the end of August, I take a break from first-drafting new stories. What starts out as a joyous way to re-charge the creative batteries, begins to feel downright depressing by the end of summer. I feel hollow, empty and positively lethargic.


Enter The Mad Baker.
 Mornings begin with muffins. Banana muffins make a nice breakfast, don’t you think? And such a clever way to use rotting fruit, too. So do buckwheat, or oatmeal or whole grain with soy grits muffins. A healthy breakfast never hurt anyone. It may have saved the world from a few over-grouchy nit-pickers, and it certainly saves the Mad Baker from feeling another pointless day has begun.

Mid-mornings call for a re-charge, so a nice batch of scones will do. Scones are always nice and easy to make, and the Mad Baker scours the pantry for imaginative add-ons to the basic and boring plain scone recipe. Chopped dried apricots make a nice addition. So do raisins, currants or prunes. So what if it’s past breakfast time. Prunes are good anytime. So what if they are really old, from three years ago. Old prunes are good anytime. Scones done. Come and get it while they’re hot!

Post-lunch doldrums bring the real breads out. Homemade egg bread?  Rye with corn? Middle Eastern Pita? Who can resist right-out-of-the-oven bread? Family, it’s now or never.
And pre-dinner calls for cake. Because five o’clock tea needs cake. It demands it. And it better have chocolate in it, somewhere.
Pots and pans clean now, drying on the dish rack. The Mad Baker feels productive and vindicated. Family is satiated. The freezer is a bit fuller, too. She made double of everything, because you never know.

And it all begins again, furiously, the very next day. Those Mad August Baker days.
Family members, at first delighted, begin to protest. Good is one thing. But a freezer with no room and expanding waistlines are another.

Family can hardly wait for September, when The Mad Writer returns.

13 comments:

  1. Did you say scones? I'll be right over. *gets car keys*

    I tried to take a few weeks off to recharge in July, as you say, but by the end of it I was a cranky, complaining nightmare. My poor family.

    At least when you're not writing, you're baking so that's a nice-smelling consolation for everyone.

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    1. You give me too much credit, Kristen. When the Mad Writer returns, the Mad Baker calm down a lot.

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    2. That's^ "Mad Baker CalmS down...." Forgot the coffee. Better now.

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  2. I'll take some banana muffins, please!

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  3. I call my insane kitchen activity 'Mad Martha Cooks'...I talk in a cheesy accent announcing the food lineup...this irritates the teen and the dog.I whip up a variety of inedibles, mostly gluten-free. Martha Stewart is probably hanging her head in shame.

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  4. I have baked LOTS of bread this summer, Mirka, and many batches of cookies! You and I have a lot in common! = ) School starts tomorrow, and I can't wait to get back into full-on writing mode!

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  5. Well, I'll take some of that chocolate cake please! Ooh, that sounds so good right now, w/a tall glass of cold milk...

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  6. Yup, except it's my daughter who is the mad baker :) Come Sept.

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  7. I know just what you mean. When I spend too much time at my desk NOT being productive, I usually end up in the kitchen making sweets. Fudge is my usual go-to dessert. But banana muffins sure sound good!

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  8. LOVE this post. I laughed out loud about "a clever way to use rotting fruit." I just made banana nut bread last night.

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  9. You had me at banana muffin, then scones and chocolate in cakes. I have been battling with this 'blackforest cake' addiction lately. The Mad Writer will return, not to worry. Make her a Happy Writer-on-a-Break for now!

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  10. Haha! If you feel like staying at my house next summer, we certainly wouldn't mind having a live-in baker. :-) I know what you mean about the not-writing blahs. It's good to take a break, but if it's too long then I start to feel very unsettled.

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  11. It all sounds yummy to me! I'll ditto what Anna said about loving to have you come visit at our house and bake us some of your goodies. I don't bake much during the school year, but even less in the summer because of all the extra heat it generates in the house. However, we won't mind that at all, if you're the one doing the cooking. :)

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