Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Why I love to bake
Some of you may have noticed that I have been twittering a lot about my baking aspirations (and, less frequently, achievements). You may have rolled your eyes. You may have thought, “We get it, Jordan, you bake stuff.” Well, there is more to it than that.
There are many reasons baking floats my boat (I have an obsession with sweet things; I like playing with technology; I lack the ability to cook actual meals), but there is one reason to rule them all...
When I am feeling poor and irresponsible and like I will never be a real grown-up, baking makes me feel like I am battling an evil army of orcs and I am WINNING.
It starts like this: I am procrastinating some very important task, like choosing a master’s project topic or paying bills or responding to important e-mails or applying for a job. Then an idea pops into my brain:
Once said combination of sugar, butter and delicious gets into my head, it runs around wreaking havoc on my productivity. At this point, there is only one way to gain control of the confection-poltergeist that has taken up residence in my brain. I must bake it and defeat it. (Oh and eat it.) Then, and only then, will I be able to do the grown-up things I need to do.
When I bake, I feel like I am a superhero with powers to defeat foes like the Baking-at-altitude-is-hard Troll! The Cakes-always-turn-out-ugly Monster! The You-do-not-own-proper-kitchen-implements Goblin!
These are challenges I can tackle. But then I rip off their masks and uncover their real identities and -- no way! -- underneath the Baking-at-altitude-is-hard Troll is the underlying problem that I live in Boulder and thus will never get a real grown-up job. (Cakes-always-turn-out-ugly Monster doesn’t have an alter-ago. He is just mean.) And the You-do-not-own-proper-kitchen-implements Goblin has a hideous real face of financial debt and a career choice that guarantees I will be poor forever.
But that’s ok, because as long as my real-life problems have their baking villain masks on I can slay them like a pro. And whereas before I started to bake, I felt like my only talents were getting drunk and embarrassing myself, and watching too many Degrassi episodes, and reading comics, now I feel like I can conquer some of my grown-up person responsibilities (even if really all I have done is bake something that will only make people fat and happy).
Here is an illustration of the process: