Posts tagged ‘bread’

Mom’s Carrot-Flecked Dinner Rolls

Sometimes when people find out that I like to bake, they assume that I have great knife skills, can whip up fresh tomato sauce, and know how to fillet a fish. “Oh,” they say, “you’re a cook! That’s so cool.”

No. It would be very cool if I were a cook, but alas, I’m scared of the big chopping knife, I have no idea how to make tomato sauce from scratch, and I can poorly fillet a fish (just barely.) I am a baker, even though I’d love to expand my abilities.

My parents, on the other hand, they are good cooks. My father is the sort of person whose shopping cart is filled with eggs, butter, fresh produce, and milk, never frozen dinners or Hamburger Helper. The kind of person who cooks salmon and mushroom roulade without a recipe and gets asked to do dinner parties.

My mom, too, has her specialties. The limited Chinese terms my father knows are all for describing the foods she makes. Her rice is the best we’ve ever had, anywhere. Her pot stickers are so perfect that when one of my friends said she loved Dragon Wok’s dumplings, I forced her to come to dinner so she could see what she was missing. And unlike my father, the cook, and me, the baker, mother’s favorite is something unique: bread.

My mother ate like a bird as a child. She loathed meat, hated most vegetables, and didn’t care for fruit. Instead, she bought freshly baked bread on the way home from school and ate the whole loaf herself. When she moved to this country and was first introduced to my father’s family, the only thing she ate was mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. To a group of thick steak and buttered greens loving foodies, this was unimaginable, prompting my grandfather to title her the Carbohydrate Queen.

My mom eats basically everything now, but she still loves bread best. And so it was she who baked these delicious rolls with freshly grated carrots. Me, I’m scared of yeast. But my mother, she’s fearless.

On another note, thank you to Eliana of A Chica Bakes for passing the Friendship Award onto me. It’s so sweet! I have to pass it on to 8 other bloggers…


“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.”

Thanks to all of these bloggers for supporting 17 and Baking, and inspiring me with their delicious creations.

– Amanda of Is This Thing On?
– Marta of Just Call Me Marta
– Alicia of Bakeaholic
– Alana of The Good Girl Gone Blog
– Darina of Gratinee
– Jenny of Raising Our Kids in America…
– Danica of Think It, Bake It
– Kristen of Dine and Dish (A special thank you for hosting the Adopt-A-Blogger event… More on this later!)


April 25, 2009 at 10:30 am 33 comments

Banana Bread and procrastination

My summer reading book this year is Gulliver’s Travels. It’s a classic, full of satire and adventure and fantasy. At least, according to Cliff Notes. I can’t seem to focus on poor Gulliver and his compelling travels when it’s a gorgeous summer day and we have ripe bananas. No, I think I’ll make banana bread instead.

Unlike most people, I don’t make banana bread when unsightly brown splotches bloom all over our bananas. Honestly, I like banana bread so much that I can never wait for them to become overripe. I end up stashing them in a paper bag and waiting about a day, hoping they’ll be aged enough by the next day. I’ve even been known to use perfectly firm, yellow bananas for my bread, just mashing them extra soft with a fork. I know it compromises flavor. I can’t help it.

So like most people, I’ve tried a fair share of banana bread recipes. I’ve teetered from the traditional path a few times – chocolate chips, cocoa powder, nuts and no nuts, dried fruit, coconut – but when it comes down to it, plain and simple banana bread is what I really like. My dad has made banana bread on occasion for as long as I can remember, his favorite being Martha’s recipe (with half cake flour). Me, I still haven’t found The One. But this one came pretty close. It comes from Elise at Simply Recipes. I followed her recipe to a T (except that I sprinkled quick cooking oats over the top) and before long the house smelled like warm bananas. Mmmm. Definitely more enthralling than Gulliver’s Travels.

August 12, 2008 at 12:07 am 21 comments

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Elissa Bernstein

I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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