Everyone bakes when they are getting ready for a family reunion, right? I know the first thing I think of, even before deciding what to pack, is what I am going to bake. I suspect I might be blackballed if I showed up without at least some baked treats. In fact, this year, one of my aunts called me last weekend to ask what I was bringing. One of my cousins (grown, mind you) wanted to know what I was baking so he could start anticipating. High praise, in any book.
When I was in high school I started baking cookies a week ahead of time so we would have enough for the long reunion weekend. Everyone loved the cookies, but they moaned about all the calories, usually as they were eating another one. I only baked a few the next year, so everyone wouldn’t be tempted. And I was greeted with a chorus of disappointment when I showed up without the cookies. You just can’t win sometimes!
This year I am taking chocolate oat bars and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars. At least the oatmeal chocolate chip bars are semi-healthy – or a little less unhealthy. I am also taking a lemon variation of my whole wheat zucchini muffins (recipe coming soon). I needed to use up some of last year’s frozen produce to make room for this year’s and a double batch of muffins took care of two bags of grated zucchini. On that same note I am taking some of last year’s frozen peaches to make into peach cobbler after we get there. Nothing beats warm peach cobbler, and it isn’t exactly a good traveler.
I am skipping the huge batch of bread this year – the one that popped the top off its container while it was rising and then baked up into four huge loaves of bread. I figured I could do without a repeat of that adventure. Instead I am taking a homemade mix for hamburger buns. We are arriving a couple of days before the big reunion dinner, so I am waiting to bake the buns there to make sure they will be as fresh as possible.
Now that the baking is done and everything is in the freezer, waiting to go in the car at the last minute, I can think about packing. Priorities, you know.