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…
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