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Procrastibaking


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Urban dictionary defines procrastibaking as,

...the practice of baking something in order to put off doing something else you need to do.

With a stack of student essays, summaries, application forms and reference letters on my desk, along with a completely un-bought Christmas list from my husband, I started procrastibaking up a storm this weekend. The perfect candidate? Something incredibly time-consuming or labour-intensive, ideally that needs to be checked every five minutes once started as a way of staying away from the task that really needs doing. I chose to make shortbread -without a mixer. And with butter from fridge temperature.

Although to fully procrastibake, it would have been okay to stand over and watch the butter come up to room-temperature, prodding it with a finger every thirty seconds.

"Is it there yet? Nope. Not yet. Better wait."

Nothing like hand-creaming hard butter to work off guilt (and the inevitable resultant calories). What do you make when you procrastibake? Confessions here, please.

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I don't know if this counts exactly, since it's both a form of procrastination as well as a way of opening up time to complete whatever it is I'm putting off, but I used to start a batch of bread in the evening when I knew I had an all-nighter ahead, because I would have to stay up to knead the dough and bake it, and it was a nice break to do something kind of physical in the middle of whatever project I was working on. Somewhere in one's late 30's the ability to pull all-nighters drops drastically, so even this doesn't help anymore.

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Part of procrastibaking is going through the recipe books and recipe file to decide what you want to bake.

For me, it's cookies. Actually, it's making the dough, then baking one dozen and freezing the rest of the dough so fresh baked cookies are just moments away.

Speaking of procrastibaking, watching venison thaw and turning the package over and over again is a really nice way to avoid cleaning the bathroom.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I've been avoiding studying by making marshmallows (first time so it took a while) and making my Christmas gingerbread snowflakes. Nothing like doing all those little cutouts ever so carefully...

My justification for procrastibaking is that I'm putting off studying for my baking and pastry theory class. This sort of counts as studying, right? Right?

Eh, maybe not. But it's a lot more fun :biggrin:

**Melanie**

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Barbara Davis Hyman wrote a biography of her mother, Bette Davis, called My Mother's Keeper. She tries to do a sort of Mommy Dearest number on Bette, but somehow, Bette's personality is too entertaining to take it seriously.

Your poking the butter story reminds me of an extremely funny passage in which the daughter is describing how Bette Davis would make macaroni and cheese, which meant heating up some frozen macaroni and cheese, but the ritual was elaborate and involved poking the macaroni at regular intervals, while keeping watch over it, cigarette in hand.

This rates as superior food writing, if anyone cares to seek it out.

For me, procrastibaking is about the incredible care with which every ingredient is measured, each one stowed back in its rightful place before the next one is approached. Exquisite care with the mise en place, checking it twice. The screech of the stainless steel spatula against the stainless steel measuring cup.

To me, very calming. Puts the whole world right. That perfect one cup of sparkling sugar, what could be wrong?

Edited by Lindacakes (log)

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I would say I am a MASTER OF PROCRASTICOOKING but not so much baking. However with a to-do list of nothing but onerous tasks I always find it necessary to bake some bread.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Part of procrastibaking is going through the recipe books and recipe file to decide what you want to bake.

Yes! And to further procrastibake, ideally you'll choose a recipe that you're three ingredients short of, ingredients that can only be purchased by visits to three different locations.

Your poking the butter story reminds me of an extremely funny passage in which the daughter is describing how Bette Davis would make macaroni and cheese, which meant heating up some frozen macaroni and cheese, but the ritual was elaborate and involved poking the macaroni at regular intervals, while keeping watch over it, cigarette in hand.

I usually poke the butter with a crap Nora Roberts novel in hand. Three torrid scenes later, the butter's mush - and so's my brain.

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These days I usually do whatever you would call the opposite of procrastibaking when I'm at home. I go out of my way to find things to do to put off baking.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Oh man, am I guilty of this! Multiple cooking projects. The long slow meat braise, the complicated dessert that will not wait. The sudden craving for homemade brioche. Yep, do this all the time, mostly to avoid housework.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Excellent topic.

When I declare a deadline to be a more of a mushy lifeless-line, it's time for soup. Grab a frozen fryer from the freezer and let that bad bird slowly simmer while I scrounge for aromatic veggie bits. If I find a heel of sherry or port you can add another hour. I'm comfortable calling this slow food.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I will be a study partner is anyone wants to come bake my Christmas Cookies for me LOL

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I've been doing this for almost two weeks now. So far I've baked two loaves of bread, an apple pie and shortbread Christmas cookies. And get this...I don't even particularly like apple pie (except for the all-butter crust), rarely eat white bread and rather have ice-cream than cookies. -sigh- It's hard work avoiding work. :rolleyes:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I have an entire SAT course to prepare a scheme of work for, and instead find myself looking into my fridge at three solid pounds of unsalted butter - a king's ransom of milk fat in China. I'm procrastiplanning right now by drawing up complicated preparation lists -starting first with all-butter pastry for mince pies and lemon tarts. What could be more time-consuming than cutting butter into flour by hand? Fortunately, my flat is about 15 degrees Celsius.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The procrastitask: thirty Cambridge IGCSE practice papers to be marked. The procrastibake: Mark Bittman's baking powder biscuits. Very nice, especially after I upped the butter a bit, and drizzled them with maple syrup when they were hot out of the oven. I can't think of a better breakfast.

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I'm with Anna. I'm a procraticook rather than baker, but it works out the same!

Ditto. Come late afternoon, I almost always have to put aside whatever tedious thing I was working on for a client, because it's time to start dinner!

And then after dinner I'm just too tired, so it will just have to wait until morning...

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Part of procrastibaking is going through the recipe books and recipe file to decide what you want to bake.

Yes! And to further procrastibake, ideally you'll choose a recipe that you're three ingredients short of, ingredients that can only be purchased by visits to three different locations.

And preferably a recipe that you've never made before, requiring much research on eGullet forums and possibly the purchase of an additional cookbook.

I probably do more procrasticooking than procrastibaking, but the technique remains the same.


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