Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Baking State of Mind

I never fully realized just how much your state of mind truly affects your baking.  Sure it affects your cooking in general, but baking just tends to be a bit more sensitive and really shows when something is off.  I honestly can't think of a time where everything that I was trying kept failing.  Of course recipes go bad, it happens to all of us, and I have definitely forgotten a major ingredient or step before, but these are usually isolated events.  Oh, the holidays!  I can think of a few books that acknowledge emotions affecting cooking and baking, Like Water for Chocolate, is first to come to mind.  At least my stress isn't showing up in my food to make my guests sick! 

  I didn't think much of it when the caramels I tried to make didn't turn out, that was just a bad recipe, and my second attempt was just a shot in the dark anyway.  But then came the failed coconut bars, and finally the safe standby, my ginger spice cookies that I have been making for years.  I am pretty sure that if I had continued attempting recipes my predicament would have continued.  There was a bit too much of a trend there for me to for me to just brush it aside as nothing.  I have never worked retail in such an exhausting and crazy environment, and both Rob and my schedule have been overlapping badly lately causing us both to constantly go out of our way adding longer hours onto our already long days.  It is also possible that the amount of rain we have been getting has been affecting pressure/moisture in the air in a way that I am not used to. 

Whatever it was I had to take a few days off from baking to let things fall back into whatever place they need to be in so that everything does not keep failing.  Sadly though this does mean that the packages that I sent out were a little lighter than planned, but I am still pretty proud of myself for getting them out at all, I have always been a holiday procrastinator and since almost all of my things have to get mailed to New York I had to get everything done and out by Monday.  The Post Office did not seem to care that I was having kitchen dilemmas and needed more time.

There is a holiday dessert potluck at work today so I am up early preparing to take another stab at my ginger spice cookies.  I will also be bringing some of the peppermint bark as well (Rob made that and it turned out great) so if the cookies fail I have a backup.  I have cleaned the kitchen and made sure I have all my ingredients and utensils ready.  Hopefully, with the calm of the morning my kitchen juju will be all healed so that I can get back to one of the best and busiest baking/cooking times of year.  Wish me luck!

Anyone have a kitchen fail story to share?  I am sure I am not the only one this happens to :)


I am happy to report that my cookies turned out perfect and were the first ones gone from the potluck.  All is right with the world!

1 comment:

  1. i once melted my silicone muffin cups to the oven. that was fun. i still don't know how it happened, since those things aren't supposed to melt. only me. ;)