On a warm Sunday afternoon, the smell of freshly baked muffins fill my kitchen and crawl into the living room where Rahul is watching TV. He is in fact patiently waiting for the oven to ping! We’ve spent all afternoon, making some delicious batter, discussing how much cinnamon is too much and finally testing a new batch of jumbo muffins.
Spilled sugar, flour & our batter bowl occupy the kitchen top, our hands have a sweet smell and now we await the first batch of muffins eagerly! After about 20 mins, it’s time to take out our first batch. The anticipation finally reaches it’s ideal climax, and we have beautiful muffins, with perfect domes coming out of the oven.
The first bite of those warm muffins is airy & moist, the top has a little crunch and the sugar coating glistens in the light. It gives us immense satisfaction to eat it right away.
But what we experience during this process is what we call the Joy of Baking.
We bake with our loved ones in mind. We are thinking of the count of muffins we need for our friends and family. The happiness it will bring to them when, for no reason, we feed them a bunch of fresh bakes. My colleagues love these Monday surprises! Baking for others brings intrinsic happiness to us. When we see the joy & happiness on the faces of those we share our bakes with, it makes us happy in turn.
Baking is also curative, in that it brings a positive feeling and keeps all those unnecessary, negative thoughts at bay. When you are baking, you need to concentrate hard, focus on the measures and methods, be patient while awaiting the outcome. It occupies your mind until you finally put that tray into the oven. From there on, it is crossing your fingers while you stare anxiously at the oven.
The aroma of the batter or the frosting brings back pleasant memories and creates new ones. The success of a complex bake gives us a joint feeling of accomplishment, something we managed to achieve together in our kitchen. It brings us closer in unique ways; an experience that is truly ours.
The biggest joy of it all though, is that of giving. Baking involves expensive ingredients and heightened eating pleasure, so when we make a dish and serve it our loved ones, it is an expression of how much we value them. We do this with no ulterior motive, even without an occasion on most times.
Baking is therapeutic,
Baking is an expression of love,
Baking is a show of skill & patience,
Baking is pure joy!