I’ve started baking again. There was a time, when the kids were little, that I loved baking. Apple Calvados cake. Blueberry muffins. Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Sometimes yeasty breads and loafs. But I gradually stopped, and I’m not sure why.
I think it’s interesting that, after toilet paper, the supplies supermarkets ran out of at the beginning of the pandemic were the necessary ingredients for baking. Baking is grounding, healing, takes you out of your head.
Baking is sensual. You get your hands in the dough, you fill your home with warmth from a heating oven, and your nostrils with delicious smells. And then, if the recipe works, you have a beautiful end result—beautiful to the eye and beautiful to taste.
We underestimate the importance, even necessity, of partaking in these sensual pleasures. One of my favorite dessert books is Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person, where she encourages her readers and fellow bakers to have more confidence and pleasure with baking and eating. It is her assertion that everyone is a dessert person!
We all want sweetness in our lives. It is interesting that the first taste a baby develops is sweetness. Hmmm…it’s the safest; keeps away the bitter and poisonous plants and berries.
So…maybe…we could bring a little more sweetness in our lives, both real and metaphorical. Maybe some more smiles, and pink orchids, and bright colors on a cold winter day, and maybe chuck those depressing and binge-able Netflix shows or music that puts your stomach in knots. And maybe pull out that favorite recipe of yours and set to baking, and if you have allergies or really don’t like sweets, which Claire says means you just haven’t found the right dessert, you can always give your cookies or muffins as gifts.
I’m wondering what I’ll bake today…