I know that food isn’t a cure all, even though in bleak moments it may feel that way. There are days when everything is just out of reach, when turning on the news or reading headlines sends my head spinning; knowing of so many people
struggling everywhere. And here I am, obsessing about the little things: is my cardamom fresh enough? is my kitchen big enough? is anyone reading this?I spend the morning with my daughter rolling out puff pastry, while war and rumors of war whisper out of every media outlet in the background. I tune it out. My world is centered in our little home, and my heart belongs to three beautiful people. But there are days, like this one, where it seems we are just gathering for ourselves here, even though there are so many sugar buns to spare. As we measure out a rectangle I am questioning our movements, asking myself, is there really time for making cakes? and baking bread?
We continue with the buns. My daughter has questions about all the layers of butter, which she helped me fold and turn the day before. We sprinkle the sugar together, smelling the cardamom on our hands. She shifts her face, hiding so I can’t see her licking the sweet and the spice off her fingers, but she spins back quickly; her face and lips lit up with tiny white sparkles. Words from earlier this week sweep through me: ‘Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy’.* I am quietly shaken, but interrupted. My daughter asks me if we can give them away, if we can share our sugar buns when they are baked. I meet her eyes, comforted by her sincere delight, her small hands outstretched in giving. Yes, I tell her, we can.
*the quote is from Joseph Campbell.
cardamom sugar buns
The cardamom sugar buns are slightly adapted from Seven Spoons’ ‘Sugar Buns’ recipe. Because I didn’t change that much the original recipe, I am not including it here, just notes on my changes. To view the recipe, please go here. I am smitten with Seven Spoons, and if you haven’t visited there, please do. It’s a lovely lovely space. And these sugar buns? I am totally in love with these buns – they are perfection. Sweet, but not too sweet, flaky, but perfectly gooey in the very center. They are a special treat.
The original recipe uses a quick, whole wheat pastry danish dough, but I used SaraBeth Levine’s danish dough, from her cookbook From My Hands To Yours. Making danish dough can be a complicated affair, and I found this little picture tutorial at Not Without Salt that you can look at, if you’d like to go that route. I didn’t change much from the original recipe, only omitted zest and some spices, making these completely cardamom. I used 1 teaspoon cardamom in the filling, and another 1/2 teaspoon mixed in with the final dusting sugar.