Banana bread, whipped coffee, sourdough, mini cakes, and oatmeal everything. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of social media or not, I’m pretty sure you took part in at least one of these sugary antics. No judgement, it didn’t take me long to delve into the culture of baking powder and sugar either; I also found some sense of security in the burned cookies I was able to prepare.
The past year was filled with a myriad of hurdles heading left and right permeating every sector and section. However, with these obstacles a less sinister, sugar coated craze was conjured. The need to bake.
Being stuck at home does limit the activities an individual can occupy themselves with. But isn’t it odd that most of the population did surrender to baking during these times? Writing a book, painting, learning how to play an instrument, or even picking up a new language were all as accessible. Yet, creating delicious sugary treats was still the dominant choice.
When asking friends and family why they bake, answers scattered across a wide spectrum. “food is comfort, baking something helps ignite a sense of warmth.”, “the outcome is exciting, just knowing you have made something is amazing.”, “It’s just therapeutic” Even precocious chef Deema Hijjawi and her daughter with, “Having something that’s real and appreciable instigates a feeling of accomplishment, baking has the power that allows you to live in the moment and focus on it rather than, stress about other problems in your life.” Not a single individual asked shared the same background or lifestyle choices. Yet, they all shared a similar response. So, is it truly the crafty flavours we seek when we turn to baking? Or is it the sense of accomplishment it ignites?
Food is rewarding. Abolishing and devouring every single bite of a saccharine meal is satisfying. But is the real reward associated with action or the outcome? The last year has defined the word uncertain. It turned our world into a living rollercoaster changing every instant. Never in my life was I more grateful for the daily routine I stuck by before the pandemic hit. I craved returning to what once was known as “normal.” But as cases grew, our definition of normal was distorted. The normal we once knew was found within recipes and formulas.
Baking has the power to ignite a sense of normality. Through the flavours and zests a sense of security can be uncovered. Eating may not only be the root cause to satisfaction, but rather the high of accomplishment and security we achieve from baking. Normally, when attempting to bake an individual mimics a recipe online and so, the outcome is predictable. As a sporadic surprise initiated daily, baking became a common sanctuary. Unlike the reality we live in, no matter the mistake that can occur while baking, the outcome is somewhat foreseeable.
The safety we seek for when baking is not the only reason it has incrementally taken over our lives. But rather, the feeling of accomplishment associated with security. The pandemic we live through almost makes it somewhat impossible to accomplish our biggest goals and achieve our greatest dreams. The past year has redefined the finally in “finally back to normal” to only being temporary. And so, to accomplish we turn to the simplest activities. The process of baking a cake, cookies, or even a pie of any flavour does allow an individual to achieve a measurable outcome. Associated with that outcome comes a sense achievement and validation. The sense we are constantly competing for.
Baking is a fun hobby and activity. A time-consuming endeavour that does fulfil our stomachs as well as our hearts. The high achieved is not purely associated with the overwhelming volumes of sugar a dessert is composed of but rather a mix of the feelings of validation and security. We as individuals constantly seek for positive emotions through activities So, next time you aim to commit to a new hobby think of the emotions sparked rather than the outcome. Are they more achievable through in activities than others?