Exploding lava cakes 🌋

This is a tale of two lava cakes. One that was cooked just right, in a ramekin with just the right amount of butter and cocoa powder to let it slip out when it was done. And the other that stuck to the ramekin and fell apart into a cakey, gooey mess.

But the moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter. Whether the lava cake is intact or in pieces, it still tastes amazing. 🙂

Experimenting with bread

After hearing multiple people bring up sourdough bread in the past week, I decided it was time to give it a try. I’m not sure why I had avoided it before. So today I pulled out Beard on Bread and threw together the starter — so far so good, and I have tucked it in a warm spot in the kitchen to do its thing. Now I wait.

Maintaining traditions you love

I don’t believe in continuing traditions for their own sake. (I’m looking at you, oyster stew on Christmas Eve!) But traditions you enjoy are a pleasure to keep alive.

One of those traditions for me is eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. When I was little, my parents would get up, twist open a package of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and pour themselves coffee before we settled in to open our stockings. Licking the icing off my fingers before ripping open my stocking stuffers is a cherished part of Christmas.

This year, I decided to make those cinnamon rolls from scratch. I had baked the America’s Test Kitchen Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing a couple times before, and thanks to the lingering effects of jet lag I woke up around 6 AM — plenty of time to bake before everyone woke up!

There’s something very meditative about baking when the house is quiet and you aren’t feeling rushed. And the joy of eating the results (and watching others enjoy the results, too!) was a gift in itself.