I Have A Bakers’ Complex

I have been away. For a while. Doing stuff and travelling. I have an excuse. He is 6 months old and recently started crawling. I’ve been trying to baby proof my house and prevent my son from hitting his head on table legs & chairs. Did I also mention that crawling after my son has also made me L-A-Z-Y? And T-I-R-E-D?

When I quit my job, I was all ready to become this superblogger mom. I had these big ideas in my head about how I would use this time away from work to unleash my creative side, find out what I was really good at, discover what made me happy, then spend my life doing that. I thought I was going to have one of those life-changing Oprah stories and become Awsome Superblogger Mom.

But you know what? It doesn’t happen as easily as that. It’s not like going to the kitchen to make a cup of hot chocolate and feeling charged up and happy inside after drinking it. It takes a lot of time, energy and planning. And if you want to be serious about being a freelance writer or blogger, you have to treat it like any other job and give yourself deadlines and schedules. (And lots of spiral-bound notebooks and lists, if you are a stationery slut like me. Seriously. Put me in a Staples store and I will go at those stacks of notebooks like they’re boxes of macarons from Pierre Herme.) So there. I feel like I have given enough reason for not blogging in a long time.

Getting down to blogging now- I have something to say. I’m not much of a baker. I lied about that part in my about section. Sue me. So far, all my ‘baking’ has been me assisting someone.

I’m one of those cop-out bakers who doesn’t have a real oven at home and uses my microwave on convection. Baking is…well…tough. Baking isn’t rocket science, but it’s still beyond my comfort zone. (Which reminds me- why is everything likened to rocket science? Why not brain surgery or derivative analysis? Hmmm.)

Like I said, I find baking a little daunting. It’s so exact; it’s so precise, and it’s way more scientific than making a curry. I prefer cooking by instinct and tasting along the way- that’s why I love curries. You can keep fine-tuning it and re-hashing the same stuff to suit your palate and mood. But baking- if one step goes wrong, than  you’ll end up with something wildly different than what you set out to make. There’s more room for disaster in baking- at least when I’m in the kitchen.

I’ve always been envious of people who bake well. Let’s face it- we all place a premium on the way things look before tasting; and baked goodies will ALWAYS grab your attention quicker. I mean, how many schools have ‘curry sales’ as opposed to ‘bake sales’ to raise money for an event? Baked goodies are prettyyyy. Like really really pretty. And everyone likes bright fluffy creamy puffy pretty things on their plate.

I might as well come out and say it: I HAVE A BAKERS’ COMPLEX. I can’t bake much and I get jealous of all those wonderful bakers who manage to put together beautiful creations which make you want to throw your diet out the window. And if you’ve noticed, good bakers have the glam factor– everything they make is gorgeous and picture perfect and oozing oomph. I’m not saying they don’t desrve it. They do. All I’m saying is, if it’s prettier, it usually sells. The poor cook who spent a whole day cleaning and cutting cubes of meat and marinating it and slow cooking it and making a curry
is left with something that’s tasty but not gorgeous. It’s a coloured thickened
liquid in a pot at the end of the day- and it tastes great, but if you put a rogan josh up against a chocolate ganache tart- the tart will always look prettier. It’s like Sanjeev Kapoor vs Nigella. ( I hate Nigella, but I just had to use her here as a comparison.)

Serioulsy. Look at that!

Courtesy womensday.ninemsn.com.au

Courtesy chow.com

This is one of the most beautiful pictures of rogan josh I could find online, but I’d still vote for the chocolate ganache tart on the glam scale.

The purpose of this post is that I need to get over my bakers’ complex and try being
one. I will not belittle bakers (the way a development journalist may belittle a fashion writer) but I will roll up my sleeves, turn up the heat on my convection microwave and take my baby steps into baking, unaccompanied.

Before I move on to the cake, I want to see if I can serve something without burning it. So over the next few days, I’m going to try baked pasta dinners. You know,like Rachael Ray. I’m pretty sure you can’t screw up a simple casserole…or I could be wrong. Fingers crossed!!

PS I fiddled around with my theme and got something a little brighter.

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5 thoughts on “I Have A Bakers’ Complex

  1. I understand your trepidation! Baking can be a lot like cooking in a black box; as they say it needs, precision and most importantly a good oven (if you put garbage in you get garbage out)! The nuke box (microwave) is no good for serious baking! It took me about 4-5 years to get the hang of baking (not that I am a great expert). The ultimate baking test is – baking a moist thanksgiving Turkey. My daughter is a big fan of Turkey and demands it every thanksgiving. So, I am quite good at baking Turkey and Pumpkin pie! One more tip- you can keep checking the food inside the oven and don’t have to follow the recipe always. You have to experiment and find the right temperature and duration you need to bake for to get the best results!

  2. enjoyed reading yr blog as always, chuckled as the read the ‘lied about baking’ bit. heehee. i used to feel the same way about baking, the nerves that is. But Rachel Allen helped me get over it. Try out some of her recipes, the key is to be exact. I was recently gifted a baking basics book. It has everything in there- biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, breads, sweet & savoury loaves and what not. Let me know, if u are looking to make anything specific. Till then, happy blogging, Awesome Superblogger Mom you 🙂

  3. Merci beaucoup, Movita! Now I feel a lot better. I guess it’s as simple as practice makes perfect. And if Julia said most recipes contain flaws- then it shall be the gospel truth. It’s Julia after all!! Thanks very much for stopping by 🙂

  4. I used to feel the same way about baking. Oh, and meat. What if it’s underdone? Overdone? What if the cake won’t come out of the pan? AND I RUIN SOMEONE’S BIRTHDAY? But the more I bake, the more I love it. Now I tweak recipes and don’t worry a bit. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Plus – Julia Child used to say that the majority of recipes out there contain flaws. SO, you can blame the idiot who wrote the recipe.

    You have a baby, that’s way more complicated than anything I’ve ever baked!

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