Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Power of Poppy Pendle

Poppy Pendle was born in a bakery -- literally and much to the embarrassment of her parents, especially her mother. Poppy Pendle was also born a witch -- an extremely gifted witch -- much to the delight of her parents, especially her mother.

The problem is that the only kind of magic that Poppy likes is the magic of baking. She doesn't want to be a witch. She doesn't want to go to the exclusive magical academy for young witches. All she wants to do is bake and share her creations.

Conflict and struggle, adventures and mishaps, anger and sorrow, bravery and resourcefulness ensue. With recipes!! Almost all of which I want to bake.

Highly recommended for imaginative little girls (or not so little girls) who eschew the EasyBake oven for the real thing ... or who have an uncertain relationship with the baking of tasty treats.

As mentioned on at least one previous occasion in this blog, baking and I do not get along terribly well, although as evidenced by the oatmeal cookie success, there is hope for the relationship.  Before I made the oatmeal cookies, however, I made lemon bars -- Charlie's Favorite Lemon Bars as made by Poppy Pendle to be exact.

I know that she is an imaginary character, but this little girl's enthusiasm about baking (and sharing) and confidence in the kitchen are contagious.  The recipes are broken down into easy steps with clear instructions and plenty of encouragement.  She recommends the use of conveniences such as food processors and stand mixers (with the help of an adult), but if such appliances are not available, or you simply prefer to do things by hand, there are details instructions for that method as well.  She even explains measurements and calculations for making half batches of recipes.  As I read them, I found myself thinking, "If a twelve year-old can do it, then surely I can too, as long as I pay attention to the details of what I am doing."

Now, I won't say that the lemon bars turned out perfectly -- I probably should have mixed the crust a bit longer in the food processor and baked it a bit longer before adding the filling, which was a bit too lemony for my taste -- but they were most certainly edible, especially with a generous dusting of confectioners' sugar over the top.  Hence I was sufficiently encouraged to try April Bloomfield's recipe for oatmeal cookies.

Since the lemon bar recipe is several pages long, I don't know that I can reproduce it here without infringing on copyright, and summarizing would lose some of the, ahem, flavor, but the author's website is here: http://www.natashalowe.com/index.html.

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