My bakes

I cannot get enough of The Great British Baking Show on PBS (via Netflix of course). It inspires me to greatness. It makes me just want to bake my face off really and refer to everything I make as "bakes." Oh m gosh it's so delightful. My fellow GBBS fan friends are annoyed that I am still not finished with the 3 seasons that are on Netflix. Their annoyance is fair. I am, after all, pretty good at binge watching things like the rest of my American generation. I do love to binge this show but I also love to savor it. I never want it to end.

All that to say is that I have not really been blogging these past few weekends because I've been baking and watching this show and then baking some more. In the past couple of weeks I've made things like..

 Sourdough bread (which was my winter goal btw)
Blueberry cornmeal Butter cake 
cat loaf (oh wait...)
and these weird things called Paskas
I just learned about Paska this week. Apparently, it's a traditional easter bread (or cake?) from the Ukrainian/Russian Mennonites. These are not my people (I am from the Swiss German version of Mennonites) so I had no idea what in the world this was until all my Russian Mennonite colleagues told me about it. (Actually Tabor Mennonite Church might commission me to make these for their Easter Sunday feast). Traditionally, this bread/cake (or a leavened cake as I like to call it since it has yeast in it) was baked in a large tin can. Since I might have to make 125 of these, there is no way I was doing this but perhaps making them in a muffin tin is too misleading. I really want them to be cupcakes but they taste like a semi-sweet dinner roll with icing on top. Okay. (They are going to be taste tasted at Tabor's staff meeting on Tuesday, so we'll see if this is good enough for them. I am pretty sure this is all I am willing to do). (Side note, Паска (or Paska) is a Ukrainian word for Easter Cake. But Paska is also the Finnish word for shit. So, there's that).

I've learned a lot of food traditions of Russian Mennonites since living in Kansas, a place that was largely "settled" by migrant/refugee Mennonites from Russian back in the day. (And note that when I say settled I mean, they moved in when land was taken away from the Indigenous people and sold for a cheap price).  These food traditional are still floating around even though it's not the great depression any more. (My probably unfair opinion about Russian Mennonite food is that times are no longer hard. So why do we keep making this stuff? Anyway, like I said, unfair). I do appreciate the traditions though and it makes me want to really understand my own ethnic food roots that don't have very much suffering baked into them.

The trick is that I can explore American baking (and it's European roots) pretty easily and I can explore Pennysvlania Dutch baking pretty easily too. But that side is my Yoder side, and my mom's side (which is German) seems a lot harder for me to explore. I don't know if I am just not looking through an outsider lens and cannot see it or if the ethnic German baking is just gone from my food tradition. I am pretty sure a lot of my German ancestors would've stopped speaking German in their communities around WWI. But this is just my speculation. I have no idea and I have no idea how to find out, but I want to explore it.

All of this curiosity comes, in part, from The Great British Baking Show, which I hope lasts forever. (Both the show and my baking curiosity and being fine with spending a ridiculous amount of money on butter).

On your marks, get set, Bake!