The Great Christmas Bake-off

There’s a new article in the Atlantic about whether baking can reduce stress and anxiety. Now, I’ve been baking since I was a child, and I can vouch that it entirely depends on the complexity and your comfort with the recipe. A batch of cookies and a cheesecake do not compare. Guess which I’ve made more often?

I’m a huge fan of baking shows like the Great British Bake-off (and its Canadian spinoff). I find them very soothing. One, because the contestants and hosts are all genuinely nice to each other. Two, because it’s amazing to see the contestants attempt to make the most complicated recipes I’ve ever seen. And three, it shows how long things actually take to bake. None of this soufflé in 20 minutes nonsense.

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Cracking the recipe

I am baking on a Tuesday evening. This is unusual for me. Normally my Tuesday evenings are tied up with choir practice or volunteer work, but in the summer, these things are on hiatus. And even though we have central air, baking isn’t something I do much of in the summer. But this evening is different as it’ll only come once. It is the 100th anniversary of my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and so I’m marking the occasion by attempting her signature cookie recipe once more. This time, I hope to get it right.

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A Canada Day compromise

Ottawa is broiling today. According to the Weather Network, it’s 33 degrees Celcius, with a Humidex reading of 45. We’ve been under an Extreme Heat Warning since Friday. While there’s a breeze, there isn’t much relief from the blazing sun. They said on the news last night that today is projected to be the hottest Canada Day since 1963.

Thankfully, we don’t have to go anywhere today. My husband’s on duty this weekend, which means that he has to keep his eye on his work email and be prepared to go to work on his laptop if needed. It’s been quiet so far, but one never knows. Still, it puts the kibosh on making any big plans for the weekend. But the heat and humidity have clinched it.

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