How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Baking and Visual Memory

I made cookies tonight with my kids. I haven’t made those in a long time. This time, we were cheating, frankly, because we used premade cookie dough from Dinnerly.com (click here to get a free box!). I didn’t have to follow a recipe. 

I used to make chocolate chip cookies with local duck eggs from the farmer’s market. I would take a fresh batch of cookies and trade them for a dozen duck eggs. The farmer loved my cookies and I loved the local eggs. I swear those eggs made my cookies better!

I keep side-tracking myself; I keep going on tangents and changing the subject. 

When I learned I had no visual memory, I learned simultaneously that visual memory is a THING. Like, people can read a recipe and remember parts of it for a few minutes. Or they can read a paragraph in a book and remember what they read. I dont have that, so I have to commit things to memory by working hard at it. 

I look at a recipe. Let’s say it says, “add 1/4th tsp of salt and 3/4 cup of flour.” I go get the measuring spoon. Then I go back to the recipe, “ok, it wants salt,” I say to myself and go get the salt. Then I go back to the recipe, measuring spoons in hand, salt next to it, and have to look at the measurement again, find the spoon, triple check to make sure I have the right one, and the pour in the salt. Before I put it in the bowl, I will even check again to make sure I am doing it right. 

All those years, growing up, being told I couldn’t follow a recipe (it completely perplexed both of my moms, and yes, I have 2 moms. One of my moms is a former restaurant chef), has made me learn to check, check, check, triple check. By the time I pour in the carefully measured salt, I have completely forgotten that I even glimpsed anything about flour. So that starts all over. 

I am constantly amazed at a recipe that says, “10 minutes prep time.” Because it takes me an hour, easily. I don’t even read how much prep time is on a recipe anyway. It doesn't apply to me. I guess it will take as long as it takes. 

As I pulled tonight’s cookies out of the oven, I remembered that my KitchenAid mixer has the Hershey chocolate chip cookie recipe on there. I taped it on the mixer years ago when I made them regularly, so I wouldn’t have to constantly go hunting for the recipe. 

I was thinking tonight how I used to love making those. The cool thing about making the same recipe over and over is that after a while, I begin to build a muscle memory of the things to get out, where they are, what to pour in to what container to measure … and it feels like a good feeling to have accomplished those things. 

I think I would like to start baking those cookies again. I would like to teach my boys how to make chocolate chip cookies. My boys have been learning how to cook with me thanks to Dinnerly.com. My sons can now finely mince garlic using my fancy Santuko knife. They can do all kinds of cool things now thanks to those recipes. We are now thinking we no longer need the crutch of Dinnerly and will be breaking out on our own, doing recipes we find in the wild. 

All of this reminds me of my Once Upon a Time recipe blog that has sat dormant now for … quite a while. Here is my favorite Bread Maker recipe. I bought a bread maker for $8 at the local second hand shop. I liked making bread so much and my boys ate it so fast, I bought another one so I can bake 2 loaves at a time. Here is my favorite Rosemary Bread recipe from my blog: https://jodis-recipes.blogspot.com/2019/12/rosemary-bread-machine-recipe.html 

Also on my recipe blog, I have a whole category on my recipe blog for Christmas Cookies: http://jodis-recipes.blogspot.com/search/label/christmas%20cookies

If you enjoyed my blog post, will you please post a comment? Thank you so much; I would sincerely appreciate comments. 


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