Baking Memories

November 4, 2007
Some of my first and highly cherished memories are of me baking with my mom. We baked cookies, cakes, quick breads, and brownies; but what I remember making most are memories. I couldn’t do much, but she let me help anyway. I would pull up a step stool to reach the counter. We had cabinets up above, and as I grew taller I had to watch out for my head. Sometimes I would watch when I wasn’t old enough or strong enough to help, but other times I got to hold the mixer or measure ingredients. My mom was always patient with me, and I know she loved teaching me new things as we baked.

Baking was always like a big experiment, one that ended in a mess. My mom never let me lick the spoon when we baked because of raw eggs, but the sweet gooey concoctions always tempted me. I loved when we made frosting, those rules did not apply. We would each lick a beater clean. We usually baked in the afternoon so that when my brother and sister arrived home from school, we could all sit down together and share the big experiment of the day.

As the school day ended and I saw Cory and Elizabeth walking home from the bus my face would light up. I was six years younger than my brother and four years younger than my sister. What I enjoyed most as a child was being included, which didn’t always happen with a large age gap. But, on days my mom and I baked, I was included with them as we gathered around the coffee table in the den. We talked about our days in between bites of the spicy, rich pumpkin bread. I felt at home and comfortable. I’ve decided that the feelings I associated with baking were something that I wanted to experience every day in my career.

Next year I’m going to Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island to start my Associates degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. After completing that degree, I plan to go on to get my Bachelors in Baking and Pastry Arts Management. I hope to own my own bakery some day to share what I enjoy with others.

When choosing what I want to do as a career, I thought of what I most enjoyed doing. My parents have always been very supportive of us saying, “You can do anything you want, you just need to be able to support yourself.” Although supporting myself was in the back of my mind, what I always thought of was what I would enjoy. I did not want a job that I did not like; I did not to be the type of person who goes to work complaining every day about how they do not want to be there.

Baking is never work. If someone wants me to bake something for them I always make time for it, even when I am very busy. Baking for me is something relaxing and comforting, like wearing my favorite pajamas while reading my favorite book.

With baking, the possibilities are endless; even the most basic recipes have thousands of options to mix it up and make it your own. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is what I often look to while thinking up new cookies recipes like strawberry white chocolate chip cookies. When decorating items, it is like a blank canvas that you get to paint. Baking is a true form of art and self-expression. I love everything about baking, well, perhaps not the cleanup. Even this one, small negative is outweighed by all of the positives.

Baking for me has always been something I enjoy; it makes me feel comforted, and free to do as I please. It is something I plan on doing for the rest of my life, and would like to share it with my children just as my mom did for me.
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