Baking vs Cooking

I had a breakdown in R’s kitchen yesterday.  For Passover R decided to host a Sedar.  Since he had work all day I went out and got the groceries, including a leg of lamb.  I got home and went to make the rub he had suggested, and panicked since it was just ingredients and no measurements.  He told me measurements and I made up the cement-like mixture, that smelled smoky and made my mouth begin to water.

Then I eyed the meat, wrapped up in string and plastic.  At this point I remembered why I was a vegetarian for a few years, raw meat scares me.  I have no desire to touch it and have no clue how to dress it.  I love meat, but usually when I make meat for myself it’s chicken, fish or turkey; not red meat.  I unwrapped it and stared it down, but still had no idea what to do.  I wondered if I needed to trim off the fat, how deep to score the meat, truly I did not want to mess up this beautiful cut of lamb the butcher had so nicely wrapped up.  So after a few text messages and one truly pathetic phone call R decided he would handle the lamb when he got home.

It turned out delicious, sadly neither of us thought to take pictures so I guess he’ll have to make it again.  Darn.  Lamb can get dry and tough if overcooked, but this was perfect.  Still a little red in the middle, the rub brought out all the savory tones in the meat and it was still very tender.

While staring at the meat I was reminded that I’m a baker.  I am a Baker.  Just recently I realized that I hadn’t “cooked” anything in several months, R cooks for the two of us or my roommates share in exchange for baked goods.  Cooking is a chore for me.  I enjoy it once in a while, like I enjoy attacking the apartment with cleaning supplies when I get an itch to clean, but for the most part it’s a chore.  And cooking is something I have to do unless I want to live off frozen food and takeout.  Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the people in my life who cook for me.  But cooking isn’t my thing.

Whereas baking is something I don’t have to do but want to do.  No one “needs” brownies, muffins, or cake.  But we certainly do want it from time to time.  Baking is a comfort.  Baked goods bring smiles to people’s faces.  We all turn into our child self when offered a cookie, that excited grin and rush of giddiness as we anticipate that first bite.  Baked goods make friends.  Baking is a way of caring for people, a different way of caring than cooking.

So I’ll leave the cooking to R, at least as long as I can get away with it.

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  1. Grace Wilfong

     /  April 20, 2011

    Could you email me the rub recipe (include measurements please). Kevin loves lamb; I may make it for Easter. If Kevin can’t eat one of the ingredients, I’ll try to substitute.

    • hiddenoffstage

       /  April 20, 2011

      Lamb Rub:

      4Tbs Sea salt
      3Tbs Black pepper
      2Tbs Brown Sugar
      3Tbs Garlic
      1Tbs Sage
      1Cup Water
      1Tbs Liquid Smoke (it comes in a bottle and adds a really nice hickory, smoked flavor)

      Mix all the ingredients together, score the lamb lightly, rub all over, let marinade in the rub for an hour.

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