My first baking experience occurred during my Home Economics Class in 9th Grade. Our class learned how to make macaroons. I enjoyed this experience so much that once a week for many months, I baked macaroons at home. I made so many macaroons that I have not eaten one since. Now whenever I see a macaroon, I have to turn the other way.
After mastering the art of making macaroons, I ventured on to baking chocolate chip cookies. Baking cookies was a little more difficult. At first, the things that came out of the oven were not very appetizing because they either stuck to the baking sheets, or were a little crumpled at the edges and soft in the middle, or sometimes those cookies were burnt. My family was one that did not throw things away or it could be that some did not want to offend my sensitive feelings. My Mom and Dad acted like my baking was the best thing that happened since sliced bread. They managed to convince my brothers to follow their lead and choke down some of my early concoctions.
Choking down a young baker’s creations is a good strategy to follow. If my family members would have harshly criticized my early baking techniques, I would not have gone on the road to popovers.
I found the recipe for popovers in Mom’s green, hard covered cookbook. The recipe was easy to find because the book opened straight to the popover page. This happens when a favorite recipe is used over and over again – the cookbook points the way to a favorite recipe.
A recipe for popovers is simple. All the ingredients that are needed are flour, butter, milk, eggs and salt. Not much stirring is needed. The difficult part to baking popovers is being patient and waiting for the popovers to get done because this process takes 40 long minutes!
You might think you are going to get a big treat when you first see a popover, but all that is really inside is a bunch of yellow eggy stuff that is globbed together in an interesting pattern.
It is best to eat a popover just a few minutes after it comes out of the oven. A little cloud of steam escapes to tickle your nostrils. A pad of butter makes it taste all the better, but it is not necessarily needed.
If I would not have gone on the road to popovers, I would have missed the road to cakes. One road often leads to another.