Writing Challenge #1: Why do I love baking?

When I was a kid, I always loved watching my mom baked pandan chiffon cakes. She was not a frequent baker, but I could still remember how I was so fascinated observing how all the ingredients mixed up together.

Sometimes she led me to hold the mixer and beat the batter. I loved to see how the eggs, flour, sugar, and butter incorporated together from a big mess into…. I don’t know how to describe it, maybe it just felt like magic. When it was time to add the pandan paste, I really, really loved to see how the green color slowly blended into the whole batter. The exciting part was to peek into the oven. Another magic! A full round cake came out of the oven. Oh should I mention the smell as well?

However, that was it. I didn’t have any much more memories about baking when I was younger.

Two years ago, I was very eager to try baking to make use of my spare time. So I tried to bake choco chips cookies because they seemed so easy to make. Well, I underestimated it. I was still extremely clumsy. The flour just went all over the kitchen. The cookies were as hard as stone that I needed to dip them in milk prior to eating. Gladly I didn’t give up. I started to try more new recipes and invest in more useful baking equipment, such as a digital scale. (This tool is very powerful and a very worth investment, just fyi).

It is such a very rare occasion when I could keep up with a hobby long enough, but baking is one of (if not only) the exception. I don’t bake every week, but I still bake regularly now, at least once a month. I guess what makes me not giving up is because I can share this passion to others. I mean, who doesn’t love eating? Seeing them happy to taste my baked goods is enough to make me happy too.

It is in my nature that I love to create things. I also love to draw and to write, but not everyone can appreciate art and love to read, right? Basically I just have this naive dream of changing the world and I think it is more realistic to use one way that really can reach out to more people. I think food is the answer, or at least that’s what I can do for now.

However, I still feel that people generally still underestimate baking. They like to associate baking with something weak, soft, womanly and feminine. That image of ideal housewife, you get what I mean? Seriously, even at this era? Baking is much more than a domestic chore. It is a combination of art and science. There shouldn’t be any limits to anyone who is interested to try, whether they are man or woman. Housewife or career woman. Even kids should be welcomed to the kitchen from early age. Preparing our own food is a necessary life skill, not your mom’s, your wife’s or your maid’s responsibility.

It may seem too exaggerating to say that baking has changed my life, but it is really the truth. I would be a different person if it was not for baking. I found a new passion and dream that I have never known I had before. I am inspired by many inspiring home bakers and pastry chefs out there (specially thanks to social media). It’s not merely for inspiration for new recipes but they also inspire me about life.

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