I woke up this morning knowing the plan for the day. I get the coffee going, mainly because it is what gets me going, then I go through my morning rituals. I sit on the back porch reading with my coffee and Nathan joins me. He’s going to work today, and I have a long list of stuff to get done. “I have to bake a cake, go to Rogers, do my personal training session, help Steph paint a bench for her classroom, and go to dinner tonight,” I say with the speed that tells me that I wasn’t prepared for such a busy day.
After Nathan leaves for work, I gather my ingredients. Recently, I was in Kansas City, Missouri for a short weekend trip with some family. While there, I was able to watch The Food Network. Nathan and I haven’t had cable since we moved into the new house. It’s just not a financial commitment either of us wants to make at the moment. When we had cable, Nathan and I always watched either the Food Network or HGTV. We ended up watching The Barefoot Contessa, an old episode from 2006 while we were sitting in the hotel room. In this episode, she made a fantastic looking salmon dish with Asian noodles on the side and a Lemon Yogurt Cake. Now, I love lemons. A lot. I knew I wanted to try the recipe, but I’ve never really felt much like a baker.
My favorite part of this recipe was that it used yogurt instead of other things, so it was really healthy, considering it is a cake. So this morning, I geared up for a morning of baking.
Flour, sugar, yogurt, lemons, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, eggs. Two large bowls, 1, 1/2, and 1/3 measuring cups, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon measures. I get started.
My house is silent except for the laundry that I put on this morning. I start mixing my dry ingredients. The recipe calls for me to sift the dry ingredients, but I don’t even own a sifter, so I just mix them with a whisk. As I’m mixing, I can’t help but relish in the exactness of baking. I live in a world full of ifs and maybes, and just do this differently and maybe a few more will get it. I fight through the day, trying to make sense of this always changing landscape. And I fight to slow down. I garden, not because I’m crazy about being organic or anything- although that does seem to be a byproduct of gardening- but because I need something that depends on me, but doesn’t talk back.
I feel like baking is kind of like that, a silent companion. I’ve never considered myself to be much of a baker. “I can’t afford the calories, and if I cook it, I’m going to have to eat it.” That’s usually what I say when I think about baking. But today taught me a little something about baking. Sometimes the product isn’t the main concern. Sometimes the product is unimportant compared to the time spent in the kitchen, just thinking, and giving yourself a few moments to measure life out perfectly.
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