I am sorry I’ve been out of touch lately, but I’ve been thinking long and hard about this post. To be more specific: I have been thinking about baked goods. There. I said it.
Those of you who have read several of my recipes may have noticed that I always encourage seasonal cooking meaning to use those kinds of produce which are grown locally and naturally. This is my way of at least contributing in a small way to local business and environmental responsibility. I don’t say you have to act the same way – I just ask you to read on, if you like, and think about what I want to tell you.
Recently, there was an occasion for me to make a layer cake and I simply couldn’t settle for one. As a last resort I pulled out a nice recipe book that I hadn’t used in years. At first it struck me as weird that it is organized according to seasons instead of for example putting all the fruit cakes together. But the more time I spent with the recipes the more logical it seemed to me: we DO eat different baked goods each season.
I have never consciously thought about it. Christmas pastries are made with apples, nuts, cinnamon, marmalade and dried fruits… because that’s just how they are, right? No. The origin of this style of baking is not connected to religious reasons but to the fact that these ingredients were the ones available even centuries back in winter, thanks to their lasting shelf life. The same is applicable to other seasons; key lime pie in spring, fruit cakes in summer and pumpkin or pecan pie in fall.
As always, I don’t tell you what you have to eat and when you can eat it… all I ask of you is to consider not making a strawberry cake in winter or thinking twice about a pumpkin pie in spring. We have access to most kinds of produce on a daily basis by now – opposed to our ancestors. Change and development is natural to humans, but maybe it is not a bad thing to keep some traditions.
Go ahead and treat your friends and family to delicious baked goods :)
P.S. the recipe for the cookies in the picture can be found here.