The joy of baking and making

My siblings and I grew up in a household filled with the smells of freshly baked bread, cakes, pies and cookies and I was always close to the bowl, stealing a teaspoon or two of dough, and licking it clean afterwards.

Besides climbing trees, pretending to be a detective or Ronja Rövardotter, baking was one of my favourite things to do when I was a kid. Mostly because it meant I could eat some dough, but also because I simply loved making cakes and cookies. Now, as a grown up, I bake and make things far less than I’d like to. Work coupled with way too long commutes means that by the time I get home there is little time left for it amongst all the “things to do”. But, on Tuesday evening I put all of those things aside and got reminded of just how relaxing it is to bake a cake and make something with your hands.

I spent most of that evening in the kitchen making rhubarb compote and coconut bread. It took my mind of everything else and I was absorbed in ingredients, measuring, adding and stirring until the mixture and compote was just right.
Just before 11pm at night I took the cake out of the oven and I felt like I’d had a short but proper break from all the normal day to day tasks. And I’d made something. As if that wasn’t enough the flat smelled amazing.

D cut a couple of slices to take with him for his long journey to set the next day and it filled me with joy to see him cut the cake I’d just made. On Wednesday morning he left before the birds had properly woken up and a couple of hours later I got a text from him saying thank you for his yummy morning treat.

I find it immensely satisfying to make something from scratch. Both when it comes to what I do day to day, but also when it comes to cooking and baking. It’s not just the making of it, but also subsequently being reminded of that “I made this” every time I eat a piece, or see someone else eat it. And the latter is what gives me the most joy – being able to share something you have made and provide a small delight for someone else. Like adding a bit of a silver lining to D’s start to the day.

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