Add one cup of sugar

Sheila - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Entered on June 6, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood
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I believe in the power of home baked goods.

I wasn’t always this way. While others labored in the kitchen I gladly went to Mike’s in Boston’s North End once a month to get my sugar fix as I wrote out bills.

At my wedding shower my future in-laws gave me wonderful recipe cards so that my husband to be would get the goodies he had grown up with. I smiled and filed them away. I lacked the patience to bake. I was always too busy and too tired. It was easier to buy.

Two years ago I had a child. Exhausted, unable to get to the gym, with no fixed meal times, and feeling terrible because I didn’t look as great as the Hollywood A list stars who had just birthed a child, I fixated on nutrition.

So I started making bread in a bread maker (a wedding gift never much used), chocolate chip cookies and simple cakes that don’t need decorating. My efforts are simple, uncomplicated, accomplished in the space of an afternoon nap.

And a strange thing happened. My taste buds awaken. Cakes that are fresh and not laden with corn syrup have a delicacy to them that beg to be savored.

Find a good basic recipe and use it. Measure with care, chop with precision; eat leisurely and repeat whenever needed.

My life is stressful. Yours probably is too. Americans in general lead stressful lives. Find a good recipe and reuse it. I wonder, how often I complicated my life only to be disappointed in the results.

As I sit in the evening savoring a square of carrot cake with my tea or feed my child a slice of homemade toast I feel contentment. I believe in sitting down at the table with my child and sharing a meal with her. She’s a very bright, adventurous little girl and is very appreciative of my efforts. I believe in providing her with good nutrition. I believe in slowing down to be with her. I believe that this basic recipe is one well worth repeating.