What starts with blithe optimism that eventually changes to self-doubt, requires time to develop, involves messy and protracted labor, but results in a sweet final product that's worth all the effort required to get there?
Well, babies. Yes. That is true. But you know what else? Sourdough cinnamon rolls.
They always seem like such a good idea to start with, and not really that much trouble, right? But then you mess around with the dough for an entire day of adding flour and water to sourdough starter, rising and adding more, rising and adding more, before even adding the egg, milk, butter and sugar, and then spend half an hour fighting to roll out extra-sticky dough* and you wonder, "Why did I ever get myself into this?"
You continue to wonder this as you peel up and roll the recalcitrant dough into a log, try to slice it neatly but just end up squishing the knife down and yanking the pieces off in a slowly mounting act of rage, pull them out of the refrigerator in the morning to find they haven't really risen and 45 minutes later when hungry children are demanding breakfast that they STILL haven't risen so they have to be hurried up in a warm oven, then finally baked and covered in a maple syrup/butter/powdered sugar mixture that oh, right, still has to be made even though now the children have given up on breakfast in favor of rolling around the kitchen floor under your feet and clinging to your knees . . .
After all that, there is this:
Well, hello my precious baby cinnamon rolls.
Your big brother can't wait to show you how much he loves you.
A table full of labors of love, in the form of both boys and baked goods.
I always say it's not worth it. But it always is.
* Sourdough dough is always horrendously sticky to work with, but adding egg, milk, butter, and sugar takes it to a whole other level of frustration.