In general, I like to bake. I like making treats and enjoying them with family and the smell of baking just about everything. For some reason, lately I’ve been struggling with it. I think I’ve finally realized that I’m really not as good of a baker as I thought I was and I’m grieving over it…It’s as if I’ve gone through the 7 stages of baking:
1. Shock & Denial – About a month ago I planned on baking some cookies as a thank you gift. The recipe I use makes about 60 cookies and is coincidentally, my husband’s favorite type of cookie – oatmeal chocolate chip. I love this recipe because it’s easy, I almost always have all the ingredients I need on hand, and it makes him happy. Well I put the first batch in and burned them to a crisp. I couldn’t believe it. I had set the timer, I’ve been baking since I was a teenager, and I had the temperature right. What happened? I closed the oven and opened it again, as if my eyes were deceiving me. They weren’t. The cookies were so far gone that I had to throw out my cookie sheets (Not-so-Subtle hint to loved one: I could use some new cookie sheets for Christmas). I was shocked. I was a better baker than this! It couldn’t be!
2. Pain & Guilt – When
I burned the cookies the cookies burned (hehehe, see what I did there? Perhaps I’m still in shock and denial), it felt like a jab in the ribs. The look of disappointment on my husband’s face broke my heart. I felt bad for wasting all that food and for smelling up the house.
3. Anger & Bargaining – Then suddenly my sadness turned to anger. Curse those cookies for burning! Stupid oven! I’ve done this recipe before and never had any problems. If this last batch would just work out ok, I’ll never burn another treat as long as I live! And I’ll start going to temple more. I’ll call my mom more often. And my mother-in-law. I’ll be a good girl! I’ll work out. I promise!
4. Depression, Reflection and Loneliness – Then it hit me. I’m just a bad baker. I’ll never be able to bring smiles to the faces of those I love. My child will never enjoy a freshly baked batch of homemade cookies made with her mother’s love. My cakes will be dry and crumbly. Souffle? Never. The reality is that in all my years of baking, I never was really all that good. I’m all alone in the kitchen.
5. The Upward Turn – Maybe I’ll just stop baking. Instead I’ll use my saucepan, frying pan, and microwave! I’ll make nutritious foods instead of treats. People might still like me if I make delicious savory foods, right?
6. Reconstruction and Working Through – Ok. Maybe I’m just not that great of a baker. Maybe I could try to make simple recipes. Maybe I could find a happy medium.
7. Acceptance and Hope – The reality is that I can bake. I made some macaroons yesterday and didn’t burn them. My sister-in-law said she liked them. I hope one day to be baking regularly soon.
Ok so maybe I’m exaggerating…I am a decent baker. But I hate how a few botched jobs can eat away at your confidence!