adventures in baking: Spain

I am suffering from a baking deficit.

As many of you know, Christmas usually finds me in the kitchen covered in flour and baking up a storm. Something about baking is very comforting to me – it is my favorite form of stress relief. At Christmastime, I give cookies as gifts and tempt my coworkers with butter, vanilla and cream. I gravitate toward old family favorites (filled cookies, Russian teacakes, shortbread cut-outs) and holiday standards (snickerdoodles, gingerbread) – and I always try one or two new recipes. However, here in Spain I find myself with a questionable oven and a wild array of ingredients, not to mention the metric system (seriously America, just switch*).

After a rousing success at Thanksgiving, cooking a 13 lb turkey in our questionable oven .. I think cookies may be in order. This involves making a pilgrimage to Carrefour, which is apparently the epicenter of American Ingredients. This weekend finds me under the weather, so I highly doubt my motivation to take the bus over there. Instead, I came to the conclusion that I needed to have pancakes. Have to start small, right?

So here is today’s vocabulary lesson:
flour – harina
sugar – azucar
eggs – huevos
milk – leche
baking powder – levadura (en polvo)
baking soda – bicarbonato

pancakes

Mmm, pancakes

Following this recipe – I made a batch of glorious pancakes this morning. It is amazing how much the metric system slows me down in the kitchen! I triple check every measurement with my laptop on the counter, converting everything. Luckily we have a liquid measuring cup that shows ounces and milliliters, and I just wing it with a few of our kitchen spoons. All in all an amusing adventure… particularly when I see that the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of melted butter and I reach for the tub of butter because we don’t have sticks, and then I turn around to use the micro….  oh wait. Melt it on the stove! What is this, Little House on the Prairie?

 

* I read a wikipedia article about the metric system and would like to share this enlightening sentence: “The International System of Units is the official system of measurement for all nations in the world except Burma, Liberia and the United States.” For the love.

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