Have you ever turned to the kitchen for stress relief/relaxation? I know I have always loved cooking and baking as it helps me tremendously. It’s something I can control, when things go crazy.
I have started baking regularly again recently. I work in a medical laboratory that currently performs Corona virus testing, and it is extremely stressful knowing that highly infectious samples are just right there. The fact that we are out of face masks doesn’t help either. At the end of a long day, I need all the outlets available to wind down and relax. After washing up real well, that is! 😊
The rhythm of making something wonderful and yummy out of a few ingredients has always been calming for my overthinking brain. Reaching into the bag of flour to make breads, cakes, or pie crusts slows down my thoughts and I am more in tune in the moment, rather than thinking “what to do next?” There was one time I was thinking about tomorrow’s to-do when making sourdough bread and forgot to add the salt. It was a disaster and a waste of several hours! Since then I try to slow down and focus when I’m cooking/baking.
Creating something greater than the sum of it’s parts is rewarding for me and there is no easier and quicker way to achieve that than by making something in the kitchen. Whether it be a perfectly roasted chicken, delectable New York style cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, Sukiyaki , or Adobo, cooking will reward you with something good to eat, to savor. I know that even failures in the kitchen has it’s benefits – we smile when we remember it months or years later! And smiling is a great stress buster!
So in this unprecedented, uncertain times that we are in, I hope you find comfort in knowing that you can learn a new skill while sheltering in place. Make use of the free time you‘ve got and gain a lifetime skill. We all gotta eat!
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Confectioners sugar for dusting (I didn’t have any on hand today, but it will surely look prettier with it!)
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Spraying generously with a baking spray with flour will work too.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla paste.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
With the mixer running, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating with 1/3 of the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition and before adding the next third of the dry and liquid mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan, even out the top, and tap pan on the counter twice to release any large bubbles.
Bake in the preheated oven for 65-75 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes. Place a plate over the pan and invert pan to release cake. Cool completely. Dust tops with confectioner’s sugar before serving.