I believe in baking

Jacqueline - Indian Head Park, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When we walk into bakeries as kids, we are instantly mesmerized by the aroma that surrounds us. For me it was always so exciting to get to pick out some cookies or bread rolls. At an early age I was introduced to the art of baking from my mother. I can remember spending time at my grandma’s making traditional polish cuisine together and later in life having baking parties with my brother and sister. As a young kid, my tasks in the kitchen were small and frivolous. I was the one who stirred with the wooden spoon, or tested the cake with a toothpick to see if it was done. When we are children, our jobs are small and easy. They involve little work, but still teach us different things. When I would stir the cookie batter for my mom I would watch her add the different ingredients and try to remember what was added when.

As I got older I remember getting excited about being allowed to use the electric mixer instead of the tiring wooden spoon. This was a new responsibility for me and would take some getting used to. All of a sudden I was helping more and more in the cookie making process and learning that it really isn’t all that easy. Just like life; when we are kids it seems so simple. All you have to do is stir the bowl and dry the dishes, but as we get older the truth is revealed. Life is much more complex; there are eggs, sugar, butter, chocolate chips, and then the choice between baking soda and baking powder. At the time these things seemed scary, but I always had my sister or mom there to help me or guide me through whenever I forgot a step. Pretty soon, cookies too became second nature and I could make them all by myself.

Finally, I was introduced into the real world of baking. There were so many recipes, so many ingredients, and so many new and crazy things to try. I want to make them all, but these things are all completely different from the other. Not at all like cookies. At one point in life you have to step out of your box, you have to try something new, otherwise you never become better, you never grow. I found recipes for cupcakes, fondant, and crème brulee and continue to learn about the styles of baking and cooking that I am learning. However, at this stage, I am learning on my own. Sure, I have the occasional help from a family member when I need it, but for the most part I have taken on the full responsibility of life as a teenager, the crazy ingredients, new baked goods, everything is new and it always changes. But it is so much fun, and it always comes out delicious and sweet. Therefore, I believe in baking.