Sometimes I’m asked why I started a baking blog. Holy heckfie…I’ll be honest. I’m almost always the one doing the asking. Why did you start a baking blog? I ask, when I’m on the treadmill, sweating off those extra eight pounds I’ve whisked and folded and kneaded right around my inner thighs. Why did you start a baking blog? I ask, when I’m carefully rearranging a slice of quickbread for it’s eighteenth photograph, in an effort to more fully capture the diffused light tickling it’s way through our dining room window on any given afternoon. WHY did you start a baking blog I wonder when I’m up well past midnight organizing recipes and files and tossing botched batches of cranberry oatmeal cookies.
Crepes and croissants, whyever did I start a baking blog?! I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to explain myself. In doing so, perhaps this will serve as a written reminder when next I try to explain to the grocery store clerk why my shopping basket holds eleven boxes of butter and a twenty-five pound bushel of pure and powdery confectioners sugar.
I started a baking blog because baking connects me to the nostalgic ideal. Standing over a soft mound of bread and kneading it, folding it, forming it, wiping fingers on my floured apron, pushing the well-used tin deep into a warm oven, filling my home with the scent of yeast and yearning appetite. There is something divinely womanly about baking, it is an act both restrained, yet sexy. Both nurturing and fulfilling. An intensely personal, introspective act that grow and rises and forms itself into a plentitude of offerings. Offerings which incite gasps and awe and smiles and sugared lips.
I started a baking blog because my fondest memories are tied to dessert. Thanksgiving dinner, with the family gathered round was always a nice place to be. But, thanksgiving dessert, when steaming bowls of carrot pudding smothered in punch-flavored sauce and dolloped with real cream arrived just in time for the grown-ups to be loose and lively. With proper place settings out of the way and nicely-folded napkins now smeared with stuffed lips, dessert meant paper plates and plastic forks and heads bowed in laughter over jokes new and old.
I bake because it’s science. The perfect balance of butter to flour. Of eggs to milk. Of sugar to salt. I bake because it’s art. Frosting colors and concocted hues. The twist of a pastry pouch, the fold of a pie crust, the sprig of a mint leaf.
I started a baking blog because it connects me to the good old days. Reminds me of being in Grandma’s kitchen, sucking up the smell of homemade rolls. It offers quiet moments amid hectic days, the simple whoosh and whirr of eggs cracked and beaten in a bowl while life stirs ever so quickly around me. It gives me a reason to knock on a neighbors door. A gift to give when words fail. A plate full of tangible progress when I feel I’m failing at everything else.
I started a baking blog because baking is all the things I love about life-beauty, comfort, creation, flavor, color–plopped into a perfect little muffin cup. Then, savored bite by bite.
Chewy Chocolate Brownies