Sunday, November 29, 2009
home, home on the range (or oven)
Just a little more than a year ago, I was diagnosed as "pre-diabetic" -- blood sugar levels above normal, but not yet in the range of full-fledged diabetes. This shocked me to my core, and I stopped eating (and baking) sweets. With the help of a clinical dietitian I rethought my diet entirely, and over the past year lost more than 50 pounds. By last summer my blood work showed my sugar levels back in the normal range, but I have continued to very carefully watch my intake of sweets (as well as carbohydrates and fats).
I finally felt confident enough in my ability to regulate what I eat, that I was willing to try some baking again. I love baking. Not all that much interested in cooking, but oh, baking! My mother got me a learning to cook book Mary Alden's Cook Book for Children, when I was about eight. It was designed to teach good kitchen habits as well as culinary skills. There were certificates to be awarded by parents when one mastered things such as "The Clean Kitchen Cook."
After mastering all the baking in my learning to cook book, I started tackling baking projects from my mother's 1949 Joy of Cooking. Plus there were great recipes for brownies, fudge and other chocolate goodies on the Hershey's Coca containers. [Remember when those were actually metal tins?]
So in the past few days I've been on a pumpkin rampage. I love pumpkin baked goods, and they have the virtue of using a vegetable, and using less sugar than many other sweets. I substituted a Splenda/brown sugar blend to further reduce the sugar used, and got fat free sweetened condensed milk, and low fat Philly cream cheese for my pumpkin cheese cake, pumpkin pie, and my hybrid pumpkin cheese cake pie. Haven't tasted the last one yet -- its still cooling in the fridge.
I enjoyed the process of baking, got to practice sensible eating of sweets (small slices in conjunction with meals), and delighted my husband the runner who has to load up on 3600 calories a day when he is running five to ten miles a day.
The photo's of the Front and Back covers of Mary Alden's Cook Book for Children, including the Clean Kitchen Cook certificate come from a wonderful cooking blog Sue's Kitchen. Which seems very appropriate.