We all have that one thing in life that always brings us joy. One thing that never fails to make you happy. One thing that you’ve always loved from day one. For me, that’s baking.
Whether it is a sunny summer day, a rainy spring afternoon, a chilly autumn evening, or during a snowstorm, baking is one thing that gives me satisfaction like nothing else. Having the house filled with the sweet fragrance of the ingredients that you so strategically put together into a bowl turn into your very own masterpiece. Your creation.
I have three brothers. Yeah, I’m the only girl. I know, it’s tough, but I love it that way. My elder brother Jerome is into cooking savory dishes and I have tried them, but it never quite satisfied me the way baking does. So I left the cooking to Jerome. My other two brothers aren’t into baking either (but the eating part is their favorite). My mom was into baking a long time ago, before she had kids, but it’s something she has never had time to get back to these days. Oh, and don’t even get me started on my dad — you don’t want him baking something for you (dad don’t kill me if you read this). Just like that, baking became my thing, and no one stepped into my territory.
It’s the meticulous science behind the scenes that really intrigues me. Understanding how one single ingredient can take a dish from one flavor to a completely different flavor profile. For example, one ingredient that can do this is vanilla extract. Just a dash of this miracle potion can make a heaven and earth difference in the taste.
From a young age, baking has just been something I have been drawn to and I am naturally good at. Many people claim that they don’t like baking. But the truth is that they never really gave it a chance. Because they expect a decadent, sweet, delight cooked to perfection on their very first try. When their baking doesn’t meet their expectations, they just give up and never try it again.
In my experience, I have learned that when you make something for the first time, there is always room for improvement. Even if I follow the recipe to a tee, I can always think of something I can add next time to boost the flavor a little bit and have a better product. So next time you get in your kitchen to bake, be patient if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time because if you keep at it, it eventually will.
Another major thing about baking is that it is something that you can use your creativity and the sky is the limit. Very rarely do I ever actually follow a recipe word for word. Over the years one tip my mom gave me is that a recipe is like a map, there are many different ways to get to your destination. This applies to baking because even if you don’t have exactly 1 ¾ cups of flour or you just ran out of vanilla extract, there is always another way. When I was new to baking and I realized that I was one egg short or ¼ cup flour short, I just assumed that there is no way I could finish the dessert and it wouldn’t work.
Going by what my mom told me, for instance, if I ever run out of vanilla extract, I use maple syrup instead, and it works like a charm. Furthermore, even if not having all the ingredients isn’t an issue, changing and adding my own unique flair to the recipe always leaves me more satisfied. Everyone has different opinions and levels of pickiness when it comes to eating, so adding in a little extra something that you love to complement the dessert can elevate your dish to something that keeps your tastebuds in shock.
I could talk to you guys about all of my baking creations over the years and I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. Maybe I’ll post about one of my baking adventures in a future blog. But, one last thing I would like to share is the primary reason why I enjoy doing this so much. Being able to feed other people like my friends and family, or even my community at bake sales is the most amazing thing ever. Having their faces light up with delight as their tastebuds embark upon an unreal adventure makes me the happiest person on earth. Just bringing a smile to someone’s face through food is a reward better than any other.
Now that I have blabbered on about baking, I genuinely hope that you all partake in this magical activity. Whether your preparing treats for an event or just for fun, enjoy it, and I truly mean that. Watch as the sugar, flour, butter, etc. shapes up to be a scrumptious, mouthwatering dessert. As it bakes, inhale the sweet and delicious scent that roams through the air.
And finally, the best part of all, see all the smiles and joy it brings when sharing it with others. Lastly, I’m sorry some of these pictures aren’t mine, and that’s because I didn’t take pictures of anything I baked. However, these recipes are some of my favorites and I highly recommend you try to make them! But going forward, I will remember to take pictures when I bake and keep you guys updated.
Sarah Poravanthattil is a freshman in Robbinsville Highschool in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Blogging is something new to her but she is very eager to share her stories and experiences with all of you.