Baking is transformative. The process begins with a handful of ingredients and progresses into a delightful combination of sounds, smells and flavors. There’s nothing like the smell of brownies wafting from the oven, knowing you got the recipe just right.
Baking is my favorite hobby. I get to work with my hands, awaken my senses and learn something new along the way. It’s a sweet distraction, a symphony of sounds — caramel boiling, sugar being poured into a bowl, the crack of an egg, a spoon stirring, parchment paper ripping — a pleasant pastime, a carefully choreographed dance. I do it because I love it. I do it because I can wrestle with dough and my thoughts at the same time and come to a conclusion for at least one of those things.
My family, friends and coworkers frequently serve as my guinea pigs as I produce trays of brownies, bars and other goodies. They’re good sports, but for me there’s no greater pleasure than baking something that reminds someone of a memory or feeling.
But sometimes the recipes don’t work out so well. I’ve burned my hand pulling something out of the oven and had boiling syrup splatter onto my arm. Most self-taught bakers have similar stories. Burns and tales of recipes gone wrong unite us, but we refuse to take off our aprons and throw down our spatulas. In a world full of recipes, there’s no time for quitting.
This refusal to back down from boiling pots and sharp knives is what brought me here. About five years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to cook, but my odd work schedule kept me from taking any classes. I took it upon myself to try, try again. There have been some disasters, but more successes, and a lot of learning. I’ve had a lot of people request recipes on a regular basis and I thought this would be the easiest way to provide them. If you take away anything from reading this blog, I hope it’s a good recipe that makes you smile with satisfaction as you pull the finished product out of the oven.