More often than not, cooking together can cause friction between Hubs and myself.
(Like he tries to assist with my part [read: tells me what to do or what I am doing wrong], I get mad, and we don’t talk until the next day. I’m good with grudges, I admit it.)
I learned this weekend, though, that cooking together can also help us forgive and move on.
On Saturday, I was having a bad day. A really bad day. He inadvertently added to it, a minor argument ensued, and I stopped talking to him. (I know, passive aggressive could be my other middle names.)
When Sunday rolled around, we were out of most of our typical breakfast foods, so Hubs started perusing recipes online. When he found a recipe for apple coffee cake, I thought it sounded good (but I still wasn’t really talking to him). Since we didn’t have any apples, I just pulled out some pears, peeled them, and started chopping.
He started putting together the batter, and of course, we had to talk to coordinate our parts of the recipe. Sometimes I’d fetch and measure an ingredient. Sometimes he would. We prepped, mixed, and poured like a well-oiled machine. By the time the coffee cake went into the oven, the argument was forgotten, and we enjoyed a nice cup of coffee together.
Pear Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping, adapted from Emeril Lagasse on foodnetwork.com
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 c sour cream
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 c peeled, cored and chopped pears
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
4 T unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
In a large bowl, cream together the stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the pears. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.
To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
Well, Hubs was involved, so it was perfect, of course. It couldn’t be any other way, you know. 😉
I did learn a couple new tricks to help me in the future, though.
You can sift your dry ingredients onto a sheet of parchment, instead of a bowl, and it makes it much easier to add to your mixer. And for some reason, in my case at least, less messy.
Second, I didn’t know there was a plastic attachment for our mixer that goes on top of the bowl. It actually prevents the dry ingredients from going everywhere when you add them. I didn’t get a picture of it, because we were moving too fast, but it was really cool.
Finally, a cautionary tale – never place a glass dish on top of the stove if it is even a little bit hot. It can shatter. (Now this didn’t happen that day, but it did to Hubs one fine Thanksgiving several years ago. I’d forgotten.)
When we finally got to enjoy our breakfast treat, we were not disappointed. The cake itself was really moist – moister than most coffee cakes I’ve had, but I actually enjoyed that. The pears were sweet and perfectly cooked. And the topping added the exact right amount crunchiness.
It’s really nice to know that cooking can bring us closer, too.