I've been trying to avoid making the same recipes I've made before and branch out to make new things. It's been pretty fun! I had a bunch of rhubarb and so instead of going for my usual rhubarb pie, I decided to make a strawberry-rhubarb crumble, and then this! I found the recipe here, but I ended up doubling it because my 8x8 pan was being used, but I think it may have been a bad idea... because I had an 9x13 pan full of rhubarb lemon bars in my house for a week, which caused me to rationalize eating a rhubarb lemon bar for breakfast everyday.
I kind of love baking and cooking things. Because for the most part I follow recipes (thanks pinterest!), except for the times when I play Emeril in my kitchen and, you know, *BAM*. Which mostly involves throwing stuff together that seems like it'd work well together. But anyway, cooking/baking with recipes is so great! Because really, all you have to do is follow step by step directions. There's no guesswork, if there's something you don't know how to do, there's like a thousand youtube tutorials on how to do that thing (like cutting in butter, or creaming butter & sugar). It's pretty awesome. I suppose back in the day one would learn that kind of stuff by watching a parent or grandparent in the kitchen, but I think most of us grew up in a culture that didn't necessarily have that. But the internet is kind of like having everyone's grandma to learn from! Thousands of recipes, how-to's and more, all at my fingertips on my laptop. It's kind of amazing!
And maybe this is waxing a bit philosophical for a post about lemon bars, but I was thinking the other day about how empowering cooking and baking feels. It seems like a lot of typical "domestic" stuff is often looked down on for being anti-feminist, or putting women "back in the kitchen" so to speak, when the feminist movement worked so hard to give women the right to equality in the workplace, etc. Even the word "Domestic" is almost a dirty word today, something that you don't want to be if you're a modern woman. Even I get a little perterbed if people describe me as domestic or say I'm domesticated for whatever reason, because I don't feel domestic, and I don't like being reduced down to one word. Perhaps I enjoy things that are labeled as domestic, but I also love things that are the furthest from typical domesticity. The word "domestic" brings up an image of a wild creature which has been tamed, and I feel the furthest thing from tame! But anyway, I digress.
I love knowing that I can cook a really amazing meal or dessert and feed my family and friends something that isn't from the freezer thrown in a microwave for 5 minutes. Americans seem so obsessed with everything being fast and easy, and I think there's this misconception that cooking something from scratch is going to take too long or is too hard, or that cooking is something sort of mystical that we can't figure out. I was watching TV the other day and it was kind of amazing how much every ad spoke to this idea of cooking being a bother, or too hard, and that we needed all these quick and easy products and processed food. But, I'm learning that I really value supporting local farmers and businesses, which means buying "real" food and making stuff from scratch. I don't know if this has a conclusion, just mostly thinking out loud.