The Joy of Baking

An important lesson I learned from baking.

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Since I have learnt more about cooking I find baking fascinating. Every time I prepare a cake or bread I find myself absorbed in the process itself because it is the perfect mixture of magic and chemistry together. Homemaking teaches me so much about anthropology and the philosophy of a good life. 

We live in a society where the ability to multitask is a requirement for almost every job.We are becoming “over-impatient” people, we are increasingly intolerant of queuing and even the idea of waiting bothers us. Our hyper- connected society has developed the “Amazon kids” that get everything they want with just a click. This is a growing problem not only for children but adults too. As María Zalbidea, author of the blog “Cosiendo la Brecha Digital” states, we have become accustomed to instant gratification. 

Sometimes we want to change something in ourselves and we want to see the results  immediately. Some experts affirm that acquiring a habit takes at least 21 days. People need time to mature, the same as the dough for bread needs time for fermentation or plants need time to grow. Whenever we are working on something big we do not see progress or improvement in every step we take. Indeed, we need time to appreciate the distance traveled. We need perspective. The really important thing is to make sure that our daily activities, our actions and short-term goals are based on the values, dreams and long-term goals that we want to guide our lives.

Baking bread teaches us about the value of time and patience. When you prepare the dough you have to leave it rest. You cannot accelerate the process. Once you have formed the bread and you put it in the oven you cannot increase the temperature to cook it faster, otherwise you will burn it. The same happens with plants. When they are blooming you cannot pull up the seedlings to make them grow faster. 

Homemakers often find themselves working and preparing events that take a lot of time to plan and prepare. Let’s take as an example the time needed  to prepare a brunch or a special breakfast for a birthday. You first think about it, you write a list and you may have to go to the grocery store to get some products. Then you start cooking, maybe baking fresh homemade bread or cakes and then finally you set and decorate the table. We have experienced many times that what took a lot of time to cook, we eat very quickly. If someone only enjoys the result, the breakfast itself, his or her happiness will only last for fifteen to twenty minutes. But what a big difference it would be if we enjoyed every minute of the process. 

We must not forget what we are doing. If we want things to change, let’s focus on the process not just the outcome. I am sure if you do that you will begin to live in the present and begin to enjoy the moments that you may not have paid attention to before. You will enjoy both the breakfast and the joy of baking! 


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