Baking

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There’s nothing better than baking.

Well, there’s nothing better than baking if you’re the sort of person who likes to bake.

I love to bake.

Baking has always been an important part of my life. Mother and I would bake together through the fall and winter, making pies for Thanksgiving and more pies for Christmas, as well as the usual batches of ten cookie varieties.

Most of what I do in life is academic or cerebral. I don’t mean to say that I’m a very cerebral person. I’m no genius by any standard. I can think and I can write, and I have good ideas occasionally. Most of my work has been recording those ideas and submitting them to be graded. Most of my college career and now my actual career is spent in front of a computer screen, processing ideas.

That’s great and all, but every once in a while I’ve got to make something.

It’s not a practical use of time to sit and draw, which is what I used to do in high school if I needed a break. It’s more practical to knit, but I’m so out of practice that it would take a concentrated effort to remember the craft, and I don’t have that kind of time.

Since I have to feed myself, my creative spurts turn into food. I’ve invented chicken dishes and noodle dishes and hundreds of quinoa dishes, but rarely to I have the time to make dessert. I do my best to keep desserts out of my apartment because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is week. Can I get an “amen”?

But every once in a while, I have to bake something. Anything. even if it’s mug cake.

Tonight, it was pound cake. Rich, buttery, sugary pound cake. They say that pound cake got its name from its ingredients–a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, and a pound of butter, plus extras. I say it’s called pound cake because you gain a pound for every slice you eat.

I love the process of putting all the parts together. There’s something about adding the flour mixture to the sugar/butter/egg combo sloshing around in the mixing bowl that gives me the illusion of calm in the universe. As if, with every stir of my mixing spoon, I hear a whispered “be still,” and the seas obey.

But to tell the truth, my favorite part of baking is licking the mixing bowl.

And the spatula.

And the beaters on the mixer.

I told you, they call it pound cake for a reason.

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