Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baking Disappointments and Bookish Delights

Baking Disappointments

I really ought to invest in some vegan baking books.  At the very least I'll be scouring the public library and placing some interlibrary loan requests.   I'm cool with eggs and such, but finding delicious recipes for cookies that are dairy-free is proving an impossible task.  Either the recipe calls for odd ingredients or it is bland.  I have a very good friend who is vegan and he told me to steer clear of internet recipes.  Instead I'm going to find a copy of the cookbook he recommended.

Anyhoo, I really wanted peanut butter oatmeal cookies the other day and I didn't have a cookbook with a dairy-free option.  I ended up finding a reasonably easy recipe and I made it on Tuesday night.  It sucked.  There was only the slightest hint of peanut butter and the vaguest hint of oatmeal.  Bland cookies are no good!  And I even increased the sugar!

If you have a dairy-free cookie recipe that makes a delicious cookie, please send it my way.

Bookish Delights

I'm in the midst of reading Antonia White's novel The Lost Traveller for Virago reading week hosted by Carolyn and Rachel.  I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like; I'm still getting adjusted to being back at work full-time. 

The heroine of White's novel is Clara Batchelor; a fourteen-year-old girl who attends a convent school, has an overbearing father whom she adores, and a clingy mother she barely tolerates.  She is dealing with all intensities of being a teenager finding out "who" she is, questioning the world, and trying to decide where she fits.  There is a passage in chapter 8 that aptly describes Clara's teen anxieties,
"she was furious at having made such a fool of herself.  Why couldn't she have had the sense to keep quiet? Nowadays it was always the same.  When her father wanted her to speak, she was dumb.  When she should have been silent, some imp prompted her to blurt out the wrong thing."  (page 71)

Oh Clara, I related as a teenager and, alas, I relate now.  I'm always talking too much or too little.

I was intrigued by Frost in May because I have a penchant for boarding school books (and I'm putting convents in that category).  The Lost Traveller feels quite different and I'm anxious to see where the plot will take me.  I'll keep you all updated on my progress!



Linda said...

My husband is lactose intolerant and I use Earth Balance "butter" in any recipe that requires butter. We also use lactose free milk as well. I simply use either in the same quantities the recipe calls for. It's worked out well for me.

Carolyn said...

I'm glad you're enjoying The Lost Traveller! It's exciting to see all these reviews of new to me books.

Heather said...

I highly recommend the site Tastespotting. It compiles a TON of food blogger's recipes and it's searchable. And completely addictive. There are a lot of vegan recipes there!

I wish I had known about Virago week earlier! I have a few I could have read! Hopefully next time...

Thomas at My Porch said...

I don't have any cookie recipes, but as long as you can do eggs, I have a wonderful olive oil cake. Light and lemony.

Andi said...

Whoa! I wouldn't even know how to begin baking vegan cookies. I wish you luck on the hunt for good stuff!