Welcome to my new blog, Needs Baked. Why are we here? What are we in for? Read on!
Like so many of us, I grew up cooking and baking with my mom. Especially around holidays and birthdays, there would be a lot to do. But all year round I remember being in the kitchen helping out, and learning as I went. I know she did the same with her mother as well, and I also got to share in that same joy with my grandmother.
My wife compliments me for being fearless in the kitchen, unafraid to try new things or experiment with difficult recipes. I think I’m just comfortable in the kitchen. I remember experimenting in the kitchen with my friends when I was growing up. We made some truly terrible things, but it was a lot of fun.
These days I often cook with my mom when I visit, but in the meantime I bake here at home. My wife does most of the cooking, as I get home from work later than she does, and waiting till I get home to start on making dinner would push dinnertime super late.
But the baking is all mine. I can start and finish when I please. I can choose recipes or experiment with ideas on a whim with no repercussions. I get to play, to create, to share. It’s fun. It’s creative. It pushes my mind. And it’s usually delicious.
So this blog is about this process. What I’m thinking about, what I’m trying, what I come up with, what works, what doesn’t.
I also wanted to add a special note about gluten-free baking. Some of the items I make are gluten-free. There is a separate category just for gluten-free recipes, so you can use that if that’s what you’re looking for. And even if you’re not looking for that, I wouldn’t skip those recipes. Many of them are delicious, and you wouldn’t know they were gluten-free unless someone told you. (You can read more details here about how and why I sometimes bake gluten-free.)
Oh, and the name of the blog? I didn’t grow up there, but my family has roots in Pittsburgh. I didn’t realize it growing up, but I picked up some Pittsburghese. I was sitting in a linguistics class in college (one of my other interests), and it hit me that a common grammatical construction I use comes from the Pittsburgh dialect. Instead of saying, “The car needs to be washed.”, I’ll say, “The car needs washed.” (You can read more about it here.) So, it’s named in honor of my mom and my grandmother, with whom I found a joy in baking. You can think of it as, “This recipe needs baked.”
I hope you enjoy what you see. I hope you try out the recipes you read. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope that you let me know what you think regardless. (I know, that’s a lot of hoping.) And now, on with the show!