I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. It ain’t pretty, but it’s usually where the action is. Today was a baking day. Lemon poppy-seed muffins, apple/carrot/zucchini loaf and Roscón de Reyes.
Tomorrow is the big Christmas finale in Spain. The Kings come with the graft and the calories come with the official holiday baked good, the Roscón.
I’m an improviser. I chuck stuff in the bowl until it looks about right. I can eyeball 4 cups or a couple of tablespoons. But Spanish recipes leave me baffled. 650 grams of flour?
No clue. So I actually got the precision scale out today. It goes against my principles, but for the sake of avoiding store-bought Roscón, I’ll sink to new lows of order.
I used the same recipe as last year. The key of course is a healthy swig of Rum and orange blossom water. Other than that it is just run of the mill sweet bread.
The other identifiable feature of Roscón is that it is decorated with candied fruit, something I never have on hand. More improvisation. This always amuses Rogelio, who cannot imagine Roscón anyway but “the official way”. As a foreigner I am not confined by convention and tradition. So mine has poppy seeds and dried cherries.
The shape didn’t turn out quite as pretty as last year. And what in tarnation is oozing across my floor? This year I have one more kid “helping ” me. One more kid raining me with broccoli from the high chair. One more kid hiding kitchen implements.
One more load of laundry every meal time. And one lumpy Roscón.
I’m OK with that. I like a clean kitchen, but that’s just not where I am in my life. I have to choose. I can have a clean kitchen or I can make dough with two kids, run off to a parade, then tag team bedtime with Papi during the aesthetic portion of my baking extravaganza. So my Roscón looks a little, well, improvised.
But when the kids are asleep and if you don’t look at floor level, the Roscón tastes good,
and I’m OK with that.