24 August 2009

I really want to bake.

There's that age old cliche you read in every interview with a model or actor. "Yeah, this modeling gig is great, but what I really want to do is act." For the actors, it goes like this, "Yeah, acting is awesome, but what I really want to do is direct." I can see the logical progression from each gig to the next wannabe profession. Each allows the person to contribute on a more personal and creative level.

Lately, mine goes like this, "I'm a writer, but what I really want to do is bake." No logical progression from my current profession, but definitely something that I love to do. I've probably been baking since I could write. I say that because I don't really remember when the baking started. It seems like it was always there. I never had the Easy Bake Oven so many of my contemporaries had. I had the real oven. I helped my mom mostly when I was really young. I can remember the easy stuff like box brownies and muffins, but also trying out a few advanced recipes in my teens. Let's be real about this, I worked at bakery in high school and into college. While I didn't actually bake, I spent my time among racks and racks of cakes, pastries and breads. I so enjoyed watching the cake decorators do their thing and dreamt of having my own buckets of butter cream frosting!

I read cookbooks like novels. I check them out by the bagful at the library each week. There's something so amazing about turning raw ingredients into something lovely and delicious. I relish the zen of losing myself for a few hours in baking a pie, cake or cookies. I also REALLY have a sweet tooth. So I mostly bake so I can have a taste and then share with friends and family. I think one of the best parts of baking is seeing how happy my sweets make people. It's pretty cool.

This weekend I built a beautiful blueberry pie with fresh blueberries from Farmers Market and a crust from scratch just like my mom taught me. The baking happened on Saturday afternoon. I brought the pie to last night's cookout with R's friends. That meant there was a span of about 24 hours where all I could think about was how badly I wanted to cut into that pie and have a taste. Unfortunately, bringing a pie to a social function with a slice or two already cut out of it would be a social faux pas. I'm glad I waited. My in tact blueberry pie was well-received at the cookout on Cherry Street.

I wonder if I'd get tired of being up to my elbows in frosting and flour on a daily basis? Would I lose my sweet tooth? Would I gain 100+ pounds? Today, I bake because I love it. For now, with no actual plan to go full time, I'll just keep it at that. I am, however, already thinking about my next pie. The peaches looked pretty good at Farmers Market.


J said...

That's a beaut of a pie! Looks delish.

Anonymous said...


Did you bake out of The Sesame Street Cook Book? I passionately loved baking from that book. Mom on the other hand? Not so much. Because I wasn't so clean about my baking. And I insisted she leave the kitchen.

In my teens I'd pull the cook book out and make the cookie dough, freeze it, and eat it raw. It sat in a container like ice cream does.

Ready for a bowl of cookie dough?

Anonymous said...

BTW, that is one fine lookin' pie!