I used to bake…a lot. I’d even experiment with stuff that sounded wildly complicated. If you were lucky enough to be my co-worker during this time, you got to experience everything from my perfect banana bread to some very questionable yogurt cake. It was a very fulfilling hobby – mainly because it had the ability to make others happy.
But then, I just stopped.
There didn’t seem to be a good reason behind it. It just became more cumbersome. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the ability, time, or even all the special equipment – I even got a brand new mixer for Christmas. Now my spices are no good and my pans are collecting dust.
Tonight, I reflected – while cooking a frozen meal for dinner – why I had given up one of the few hobbies that ever gave me real joy. The answer seemed to be the one problem I always ran into while I was baking: my kitchen size. Though I initially fought through it, I did notice that I began making excusing on what I was going to bake because there wasn’t enough space for a cooling rack…or to have the mixer and blender out at the same time…or to even efficiently do all my pre-baking prep work.
Counter space is prime real estate in the business of baking and treat-making. But here’s the thing: most bakers don’t have all the space in the world. We can’t all have the premier kitchens of Paula Dean or The Pioneer Woman. And I know from lurking on food blogs that it would seem plenty of accomplished bakers and cooks don’t have a lot to work with when it comes to space. Basically, it comes down to maximizing what you have – or, as my mom would call it, “making it work”.
My mom baked cakes on a hot plate in college. Yes, you read correctly. She’s never been afraid to tackle any recipe, even though a lot of them have attacked her in return. But she’s a good cook. I could go to her house right now and say, “I want to make such and such,” and she’d give it a go. She’s failed enough to know that the real fun is in giving it a shot.
The reality is we should never fear taking risks and pushing our boundaries when it comes to our hobbies – it’s way too good of a practice for work and “real-life” situations.
So, I guess now the real question is – having gone over six months since baking – what should I try to get going again?