This post was actually supposed to go up last Monday, but I was so busy with the said baking that I did not have time to write the post then. Of course I felt guilty about not posting last week because I broke away from my blogging schedule in the first month of the new year, so here’s my late apology and the post.
I was baking last week for a bake sale that happened in college. It was organised by a college club to raise funds for an event that honours the army martyr families in the state (Link to their Facebook page). This is my second (and final) time baking for this event. It’s a double joy because it’s for a good cause and an excuse to indulge in something fun. I wouldn’t claim to be any sort of expert for my experiments come out well as much as they fail, but my family and friends are kind enough to eat them anyway, which is encouraging. Let’s see what my experiences have taught me.
Lesson #1 – The devil is in the detail
Measurements are everything in baking, and if you’ve had a disastrous batch any time, you know what I’m talking about. Often, something doesn’t turn out the way we want it to because we haven’t added the right quantity of ingredients. Of course, life is rarely so neat that we have the recipe for what we want before we attempt it, but paying attention to detail and having a balanced approach will definitely help achieve our goals.
Lesson #2 – Patience is key
After all the careful measuring and mixing is over, we have to leave it in the oven to bake. If it’s more than half an hour, I use that time to clean up, but if it’s only for a quarter of an hour or lesser, I usually keep my face pressed to the glass (figuratively) to see what’s happening inside. Patience is a virtue that hasn’t come easily to me. Growing up in the age of instant gratification leaves almost no scope for me to cultivate it, but baking is an excellent teacher.
The act of putting it in the oven can also mean to relinquish control. No matter how precise your measurements were, it all depends on how it bakes once it is inside. Sometimes we find that even after we’ve done our level best, sometimes things don’t turn out the way we’d hoped it would. Learning to take it in our stride and try again is another valuable lesson.
Lesson #3 – Enjoy the end result
After the perfectly baked cake or pie or whatever else comes out, it’s time to dive in. Living in this fast paced world, it’s easy to forget to slow down as savour the good moments we’ve worked hard to deserve. This time I couldn’t eat any of it (I did check for taste, but that’s too little too be counted), but the smiles and compliments of the people who enjoyed the fruits of my labour were rewarding. It justified all the long hours I’d put in to make sure everything on offer was nothing short of delicious. Photos of our products were also in the local newspaper (barely visible, but definitely there). These little moments of happiness are the most important – the ones that are easiest to forget but the nicest to look back on.
Here are a few pictures of the event. They aren’t super professional, but I decided to share them anyway. Picture credits: Ankitha (for taking them) and Monica (for letting us borrow your phone). I didn’t bake all of those single-handedly, so a huge thanks to my teammates, Anuktha and Kruthi. Special mention: my mom, because you didn’t complain too much about the cleaning up and Samanvita, for your support.
Do you bake? What are some of the lessons that you learnt? If you enjoy eating baked goodies, what are some of your favourites? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.