#reverb12 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give us all the chance to reflect on 2012 and the opportunity to write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year. Through December 31st Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.
Unexpected passion: What new hobby or interest piqued your passion this year? Or did you think about an old passion in a new way?
When I was little, and I got my first play kitchen, I pulled out the apple pie and pronounced it “quiche.”
I have spent a lifetime watching my mother cook. But where baking is concerned, I have childhood memories of quiche. And Peanut Blossoms at Christmas (we are firmly in the chocolate stars camp, FYI).
Baking has always been for other people, and not for me.
Baking has been for people who are good at measuring. Baking has been for people who have whole bins stocked with flavorings and cake decorations and chocolate chips. Baking has been for people who use their candy thermometers.
Baking has been for people who know what the difference between baking powder and baking soda is. Baking has been for people who decorate their houses in a seasonally appropriate fashion. Baking has been for people who own pillar candles.
Baking has been for people who actually pay attention to the order in which you’re meant to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Baking has been for people who use metal cake testers instead of extra shish kebab skewers.
Baking has been for people who are able to tear the exact amount of parchment paper off of the roll without splitting the entire sheet in half. Baking has been for people who use double boilers when they melt chocolate instead of the medium-low setting and a pot.
Which is to say that until about a year ago, baking had never been for me.
And then after more than a few weekends of baking, I realized that yes there are some instructions it won’t hurt you to follow (adding eggs one at a time, mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately, not over-mixing) but mostly recipes aren’t going to lead you straight into impending doom.
That I’m not the only girl standing over her oven with wet post-run hair and an apron over her house-shorts.
That I’m not the only girl who forgets to check the time when she puts the pan in the oven.
That I’m not the only girl who passes off the odd-box mix as a “family secret” recipe.
That I’m not the only girl who routinely tries to cream butter that has not been softened.
And more importantly, all of that? IS OKAY.
There’s a reason that the only entrance exam to baking is that once in a while you pull something out of the oven that is edible and not totally blackened beyond recognition.
Baking is not rocket science. It is not the culinary equivalent of the lunar landing.
Baking is the act of sharing something wonderful with the people you care about. In your kitchen and at your table.
I love that.