Persistence and Unexpected Joys = Recipe for Satisfaction

If someone had told me five years ago that in a few short months I would be cooking almost every day and, moreover, I would start BAKING CAKES, I would have laughed and said “You certainly have the wrong person!”

But lives change and so do tastes – in food, clothes and things to do.

The first time I made something nutritious and yummy that my son gobbled up with glee was the day I became a different woman.

I would have never guessed that about myself but I am turning into a true Italian mama. I love feeding my family.

I’ve learned how to cook all kinds of meats, side dishes and veggies. I can make a mean salad and incredible pasta. But cakes?! That I never thought I’d try.

When my son turned one, I ventured into baking for the first time. I bought a train-shaped silicone tray and tried twice to make a simple marble cake that the recipe swore was “super easy” and “impossible to get wrong”. I wanted to take it to the mommy-and-me group I’d been going to with my son.

The “super easy marble cake” was a low-pressure way for me to celebrate my son with something homemade that was good for the other kids too.

Well… I was a part of the “impossible” because my cake came out wrong every single time.

It looked wet… soggy even and even though the taste was a-okay-ish, the texture was downright wrong.

I tried it a third time and decided to take the train to the group.

They were polite enough to try it – and even eat some of it – but they are still laughing about the whole thing. They are making good fun of me and I’m joining in, because I’ve made a few good friends there and we are laughing at each other constantly. As it turns out, I had the wrong baking powder. I had no idea there are several kinds…

I won’t get into details.

Suffice it to say that I gave it up… then… but tried again in a couple of years.

This time it was because my son was scheduled to go on a trip to the zoo with his class and I needed something yummy to put in his lunchbox.

So I studied several websites to educate myself on the many types of baking powders.

I took out my husband’s ancient kitchen robot, the one that came in my mother-in-law’s wedding presents and whisked those egg whites with the best of them.

The silicone tray stayed in the cupboard. This time I used the classic type. In metal.

I religiously poked the product of my work with a toothpick to make sure it’s not “wet”.

And then, at last, I was rewarded. I actually baked a real, true-to-form-and-taste marble cake!

The thing is… I LOVED IT! I love the process of it!

I love separating the eggs, seeing those yellow yolks sliding in a bowl. I love whisking the whites into a thick foam. I love pouring the sugar in a thin rain. There are textures and smells and processes that require your full attention. It surely is a form of meditation.

But the satisfaction I got when my son and my husband wolfed down several slices of my creation came very close to the one I feel when I am writing a book.

I would have never thought…

I was also thinking that the pleasure is that much greater for having tried and failed several times… then succeeding at last – and knowing that I will never fail AT THIS ever again.

It is a lesson worth repeating in so many other areas of my life…

Christine

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