I have this bloating sensation these days. Thanks to my dear colleagues who love baking goodies, I got fed too frequently. From cheese cakes, walnut cookies to Chinese stuffed buns, I tasted them all.
For a long time, I’ve been wondering why Americans like taking all the trouble in the kitchen to make the desserts. When I was living by myself in American grad school, the oven was always the cleanest as I didn’t know how to use it. Neither was I interested in giving a go. To me a city girl from China, I could get whatever dessert I craved in the bakeries. Why bother to get my hands dirty and my time wasted?
But if you have this idea in America, it’s poisonous. I’ve encountered quite a few Americans who enjoy baking with their home ovens. Sharing their baking products is somewhat like a demonstration of personal glory. Two bakers I know are Chinese by birth. I can’t image how they lived without an oven before they came to America. One of them told me he had to bake everything from scratch. He’s an amazing cook considering he’s a single young man in his mid-twenties.
Traditionally, few Chinese men can cook, let alone doing it well in the field of making desserts. My colleague told me he bought flour, yeast, baking molds and many other ingredients that to me, they were like indecipherable science. He then followed his recipe, step by step, and prepared whatever he was about to make.
He also has immense patience that I can’t compare. To bake a cheese cake, he spends a good 90 minutes waiting by the oven. To make Chinese buns, he can spend easily a whole evening. Unless you’re enjoying, I guess he must be, I find it hard to be at a kitchen for even half an hour. (Note: Cleaning is an exception, haha!)
Well, it doesn’t mean I don’t like cooking. I do. And I do the Cantonese cooking the best. That usually doesn’t take up much of time. Food is served when it’s still steamy hot. I like chop-chop efficiency and coordination in the kitchen rather than patiently waiting for the food to be done. Perhaps that’s why I’m still far from mastering baking goodies with the oven.
If only I were determined to be on a strict diet, I’d have refused the sweet offer of sampling the desserts. But the thing is I’d usually regret after my stomach committed a satiable sin. Now all those calories are happily staying put inside me. It’s too late to cry over spilled milk, isn’t it?
I like dessert but I can’t consume any more. My dear colleagues, please spare me from your delicious sweets, will you?