I love to bake. That may be the most predictable statement ever from a woman, who is a mom, who is home with kids, who has a cat, who blogs, who lives in Portland, Oregon. But I’m saying it: I love to bake.
I have come to love baking more and more as I get older. I love cooking in general, actually. I’ve always liked food, but just because it tastes good, not because I’m an expert or have any sort of refined palate (pallet? pallete? I have to check the spelling every time).
I like to bake. I like to cook. I like to eat. I think I’ve gained more confidence in the kitchen and I’ve learned to trust myself more as I’ve gotten older. Even when attempting to cook something I’ve never tried, or if I’m throwing something together, or if I’m just loosely following a recipe, there’s a possibility that I might screw it up. But more often there’s a quiet certainty that it will all come together.
Cooking or baking is relaxing for me. It’s another creative outlet. If Dave or someone else is watching the babies, the kitchen is a temporary escape. I can’t be responsible for the boys pulling the blinds off the windows if I’m tending the risotto.
And baking is a way for me to feel productive. I’m sure it’s been said by a zillion moms, that even when you spend an entire day changing diapers, doing laundry, cleaning the floor after meals, etc, your day doesn’t necessarily feel productive. You’ve really just maintained the baseline cleanliness of your household. And to me, since the evidence of your work melts away every day, it doesn’t always feel like an accomplishment.
When I clean the floor after the babies’ breakfast, it’s still just the floor underneath. As it was before. Except with probably a few more sticky spots.
But a batch of fucking cookies is real. If I bake a batch of cookies, there’s a reward at the end. Cookies exist.
All the more so with sweets because they are a treat. It’s not the routine of making dinner. Though I like making dinner, it’s still somewhat mandatory and therefore not always as much fun. With treats I can enjoy the fruits of my labor after. Except by “fruits” I mean brownies or cake or congo bars.
So I like to bake fucking treats because they help me feel like I did something productive through the day. Dave likes sweets too. He literally bounces up and down if he comes home to a plate of cookies. The babies like cookies. We all like cookies.
But. I need to stop baking cookies. I have to stop. I love cookies. I love to bake. But I have to stop. Mostly, because we don’t need cookies. The weather is turning crappy, and we have less opportunity to get out and move around outside. I can’t spend the winter baking and eating cookies all day. As much as I would love to. God, I would fricken love to do that.
Yes, I could just bake healthier sweets. I know. As it is, I usually halve the amount of fat in most recipes. I like oatmeal. I’ve experimented with flax seeds. I’ve made those no bake “energy ball” things.
But come on. It’s still calories. And once I bake sweets, they exist. They are in the house. And then every little pang of hunger becomes cookie time.
I could exercise, right? Yes, I could. I’ll get right on that. Eh-hem.
It sounds like there ought to be a reasonable solution. Baking makes me happy. Eating makes me happy. Surely we can be adults and live in moderation. Or even, I could bake and then share cookies, so we don’t eat them all ourselves.
But god, that sounds fucking awful! If you come over to my house, I will share cookies with you. But baking something, then relocating sweets out of the house? Giving them away? Intolerable. No. Then it becomes just like cleaning the floor, what’s the fricken point?
So. For now, I’m not baking cookies. I’m just not going to. I know, I know, it makes me sad too. But I just have to be a fricken adult and not make them. Because I can’t be an adult after I make them. We just aren’t moderate people. It’s all or nothing.
No cookies. My life is hard.