I am a huge people person. I can carry on a conversation with just about anyone, and enjoy socializing. My career lends itself nicely to this because I am surrounded daily by 18 amazing little humans as well as all of the adults that come with them. With that being said, I often find myself craving moments of quiet and solitude. After being “on” all day everyday I sometimes feel my energy being sucked out of me based on other people’s needs. When this happens, I retreat to my quiet little house on the lake for some peace.
I was finding that during these nights of solitude I was spending a lot of time on social media, and I could not help but feel that this was not a productive use of my time. One evening a recipe for Banana Upside Down Cake popped up on my Facebook feed. That video altered the course of my life. I baked that cake, and never looked back. In the months that have followed, baking has become my therapy, and at this point really feels like a familiar friend that I can turn to when I need to be brought back to my center.
When I bake I find a nice balance between having time to process through my thoughts and feelings, and being so distracted by getting the measurements just right that I cannot think of anything but what is happening in the moment. I used to watch Food Network and be amazed at all of the different skills the bakers had, and I am proud to announce that I am slowly but surely gaining some of those same skills. I have made pate a choux and ganache and can make a mighty fine cheesecake. I have found myself craving baking sessions to get me through the weeks, and am constantly looking to find new recipes to try.
The part of baking that I love the most is that it allows me to remain connected with people without having to directly be with them. I have started baking every week for the local soup kitchen. I think it is so important that everyone experience the happiness that comes with homemade dessert. I also bake (probably too much) for my family, and I try my hardest to bake once a week for my coworkers because everyone knows Monday is so much better when it comes with fudge or cookies. People often ask why I bake so much, and when it comes down to it I think it is my way of showing love. Even though I enjoy socializing, I am not always the most emotionally available person. By providing others with these treats it is my way of telling them that I am thankful to have them in my life.
It is amazing how many emotions can be felt while cracking eggs, spewing powdered sugar everywhere, and cutting out unicorn sugar cookies. I feel like a calmer, happier, and more fulfilled person when I bake. I spread love through my cookies, cakes, and brownies. Baking is my way of interacting with people through their stomachs rather than through words because sometimes the talking becomes too much, even for a people person.