Something I’ve love about being in my 30s is that sense of really knowing myself, and having a strong sense of what I like and dislike.
But that can be bad, too. It’s the road to getting stuck in your ways, especially for someone like me who tends to love things with an intensely burning passion or hate them with equal vehemence. For that reason, I sprinkled my list of possible adventures for this year with a liberal dose of activities that I don’t like and, therefore, never do. I wanted to push out of my comfort zone and challenge long-held assumptions about myself.
Which brings us to baking. For years, I felt like I should, at the very least, pretend that I liked it. I tried to hide the fact that I found baking boring, stressful and pointless (I mean, there are so many good bakeries in the world). But eventually, I accepted that I was more likely to buy a macaron than to make one, and I haven’t even attempted to bake anything for at least two years. But as another busy working weekend loomed at Long Haul Films I figured a baking project might represent a nice break from editing.
I was in a really bad mood on Saturday. I woke up still feeling tired, and when I looked out the window at the beautiful spring Saturday, all I felt was resentful that I would be too busy working to go out and enjoy it. For hours, I put off baking but by the time 8 PM rolled around, I knew I had to confront this adventure head on and with a good attitude…
I chose a recipe from Martha Stewart because, hey, she seems to be pretty good at this kind of thing and also because it was for a blueberry crumb cake recipe that reminded me a lot of a cake my Grandmother used to make.
I then set about preparations, whining the whole time along the lines of “What’s the point of having baking powder and baking soda? And “Why are there so many damn types of sugar?”
I was also so intimidated by the electric mixer that I had to recruit Tom to take over that part of the process. And yes, he splattered batter everywhere, including in his mouth.
Mickey was in the office editing before the great baking adventure began, and after listening to me griping he recommended I make a sad face on the cake to reflect my bitterness. And so I did. And yes, I didn’t have the right size dish for the recipe. Sigh.
You know what? The cake didn’t come out too badly. I wouldn’t say I’m going to be hired as a pastry chef anytime soon, but people ate slices without grimacing too much…
I can definitely see why people enjoy baking– there were moments when I felt in flow (not that many, but a few) and it really cleared my mind. I also felt pretty proud to offer everyone who came in to the office a piece of something I actually baked. Baking really wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be, and I’m (sort of, kind of, maybe) looking forward to finding another baking project, especially now that we have such a nice kitchen in our studio.