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cross “baker” off potential careers list

March 28, 2010

So my family and I had our Easter celebration this Sunday since my sister and her family (including the much beloved baby Addison, pictured below being smooched by her loving auntie) will be at her husband’s family’s house next week. I was commissioned to make dessert, which always puts me in an excited state of twittering (not the capital “T” kind) and fussing. I do so love to bake and, in my optimistic enthusiasm, decided to do my first layer cake with my friend’s Red Velvet Cake recipe, as well as a Lemon Icebox Pie from the Sweet Serendipity cookbook.

Well, one thing I have discovered — I don’t think I’m cut out for baking as a career. I’ve been mentally toying around with the idea of perhaps pursuing some kind of culinary endeavor but today showed me that if I do, I certainly need to unwind a little before I try.

The cake was way too dry and the frosting too runny. The cake stayed together and was all right, but not the towering beauty I imagined. I almost burst into tears in my parents’ kitchen and everyone stayed away from me the first 15 minutes I was there because of my fuming and snapping. Not a pretty sight, people. Not at all.

The pie turned out pretty good — the custard was maybe a little softer than I would have liked and not as lemony (I will add lemon zest the next time), but I doused the top in homemade whipped cream and it turned out yummy enough. I particularly liked the different twist that two tablespoons of cinnamon in the graham cracker crust added.

So moral of today’s story: I am currently too high-strung to pursue baking as a potential career option.

Also, I watched “Ace of Cakes” at my parent’s house and blushed pink at my silly crush on the sous chef Geoff at Charm City Cakes:

A cute, nerdy baker with a beard? Sigh and swoon. (Maybe he could help with my cake-induced stress — he always seems so calm.)

[Photo credit here]

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Scout permalink
    March 29, 2010 2:06 pm

    I try to use cooking as a way to unwind. Granted it is not baking which I know is a totally different thing, but I find that at the end of the day when I gather all the beautiful ingredients together and start chopping and sauteing and frying, my mind relaxes (unless I make a huge mistake). As soon as all the smells come together and the prospect of delicious food gets closer everything is at ease.
    But that is cooking at home for two. In a restaurant setting where orders are flying in ever 30 seconds and there is 5 stove tops all cooking different things and people everywhere…my nerves are sure to burst.
    But we shall see.
    Anyways baking takes a little more patience and you have to be much more precise. You can’t really break off into creative plunder when baking.
    Instead of approaching it from a perfectionists point of view (which I know you do so well) approach it with the knowledge that you just enjoying doing it.
    I might help you unwind a little which can do wonders in the kitchen.
    Being tense and trying too hard never ends up successful.
    Love you bunny.

  2. Scout permalink
    March 29, 2010 2:08 pm

    Damn my clumsy fingers:
    *IT might help you unwind……
    although now that I think about it…I might help you unwind too…:)

  3. March 29, 2010 5:48 pm

    i get a little snippy when things don’t turn out exactly how i wanted them too in the kitchen. i usually laugh at myself later. it’s funny to get fussy about baked goods;)

    anyway, you are not alone darling.

  4. March 29, 2010 7:27 pm

    when I bake something to take somewhere and show off my baking skills, it is inevitably a flop. Just goes to show – pride goeth before the fall ;o)

  5. Caroline permalink*
    March 30, 2010 8:14 am

    @ Scout!

    Sigh — you’re so right. Normally, I can deal with baking failures when no one else is around. It’s just when other people are buzzing around me, roasting asparagus and pouring glasses of water, my nerves get a little fragile.

    Imagine that, me having a meltdown. 🙂

    You will definitely help me unwind — can’t wait to see you in SF SOON!

    Love you.

  6. Caroline permalink*
    March 30, 2010 8:15 am

    @ Emma!

    I am so pleased to know I am not alone in getting all fussy-britches about baking. Perhaps in the end, it will be a GOOD thing, as it will force me to allow messiness and mistakes in my life. Maybe baking is actually like a really philosophical thing!

    Well, maybe not.
    Maybe it’s just baking.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting! Love your blog!

  7. Caroline permalink*
    March 30, 2010 8:16 am

    @ Linda!

    Haha, so true, so true. I pictured the gasps and applause of my family — when really, they were kind and honest with me and brainstormed on what perhaps might help. Though bless ’em, they still ate it all.

  8. Scout permalink
    March 30, 2010 9:34 am

    Ah I had a cooking disaster last night dear that frayed my nerves, but only for about five minutes, and then I let it go…because whats the use of holding on to failure?
    I was cooking for a group of people, we were having David Lynch film night, whom you would hate hate hate.
    Anyways I tried to make goat cheese stuffed grape leaves and 5 minutes before we had to leave the grape leaves came out disastrous. I moped about it and then when I got to my friends realized that the fig strawberry cake and green lentil hummus and goat cheese spread were more than enough.
    The point is that your hot.

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