One of the earliest lessons I learned as a reporter at a daily newspaper was to avoid clichés. My editor would strike any reference to “the white stuff” from a winter weather story, or a description of neighbors as “area residents.”
When someone recently said to me, “Nobody bakes in summer,” I initially nodded. Then my cliché alarm went off. “Wait a minute, I’ve been baking more than ever,” I realized. This photo is my latest effort, a blueberry quick bread I jazzed up with some frozen cranberries I stashed in the freezer back in December. (They were no worse the wear for their extended stay in the deep freeze—how’s that for a cliché-filled sentence?) I call it polka-dot bread.
The fact is, I like to eat bread, cakes, and cookies year-round. But I also like to know what’s in my food. Supermarket baked goods contain too many preservatives and fake ingredients for me to feel good about eating them. If I’m going to indulge (although bread is the staff of life, hardly the same could be said of cakes and brownies) I want it to taste as good as possible. So that means I bake in the summer. It’s not a cliché, but it’s not so hard, either. Don’t abandon your stove—summer bakers unite!