This is no recipe post where I write about how I have been able to master another baking technique. This post is when I get all Mindy, you know the kind from the Mindy project, which I do get from time to time. Please be prepared for a long personal blog post where impart my knowledge to this beautiful big world (Wears the smart glasses). I have been asked by many as to what came over me or how and when did I start baking? And the answer to this is, I don’t know, I was probably born with this skill (please keep your chappals aside).
I was never a person interested in cooking and only considered it as a task for the old wives which I had to eventually learn whenever I would get married. But for someone who gorges on Indian food and had to stay alone, I had to bring it to myself to learn making simple dishes like dal and chapati. I was like Gordon Ramsay (Now you can throw that chappal towards me). My uni years were the best time of my life. Not only did I stay alone which made me the strong independent person I am today but also found a new side of myself, I learnt cooking, which later on I realised it was an art that I would eventually fall in love with. PS, this is how I made some lovely friends. And this is how I actually got in to cooking which slowly introduced me to this big equipment in the kitchen called the oven that woke the baker inside me.
The first dish that I ever baked was a fruit cake for a dear friend’s birthday back in England. A task, I can never forget. I had no proper utensils, no tools or even a beater. I googled to world’s end to get the easiest cake recipe, YouTube for days on how to work an oven without supervision and speak with the lawyers in case I burnt down the house (the last part took place in my head). My mum suggested that since it was my first time I try the Betty Crockers box and just follow the method on the back. And bwoys Betty was a charm! That was for the cake. But for the frosting I decided to whip it my self at home. But since I had no tools, I had beat the entire frosting by hand which honestly made me almost swear that I would never bake ever in my life. But everybody makes some or the other rash decision in their worst of situations. And thankfully, I never stuck to that. And from there, it was never looking back.
I had always baked for myself or my little cousin brother. But it was always our favorite chocolate cake (which I very soon shall share). This was when it hit me, I need to come out of my comfort zone and try other dishes as baking is just not about cakes or specifically my mums homemade gooey, amazing, melt in the mouth kinda chocolate cake. Baking is a whole lot of world to it. So I started with some cookies, then cheesecakes, some more cakes and more cookies. Keeping my audience in mind, which was mainly my dad, I had a whole new variety to try, sugar free or less sweet baked goodies.
But again, there was something missing. It’s like I’m a shout from the balcony type of person. And when I prepare these beautiful and delicious goodies all I could do is WhatsApp a picture to my mum, who would in return reply: good, but don’t eat so much sweet. Watch out on your weight! And I’m like, maa please!
About a year ago, on a bored Thursday night, I decided to watch Julie & Julia for the hundredth time. Those who haven’t seen it, like really? Who are you and why are you on this earth?! Moving on, the way Julie took the challenge of completing 594 recipes in 365 days and blogging the same is what hit it. why not combine two of my most favorite things; writing and baking. That is exactly what I did. Dancing in the kitchen with a chef waist apron and pearl necklace around my neck, it was like having your own Julia Child moment. Imagine the bliss, first I bake, as known to all around me is my therapy and then I write about it which is another stress buster for me. To be honest, I have never been happier.
So to make this more challenging and exciting, I printed myself a copy of Baking for Beginners book (pdf available on-line). With a huge collection of easy to start recipes in cakes, cookies, breads, pies and so on, I’m going to set up a challenge for myself where I try one new baked dish every week that is four items in a month. To make it a little more exciting, every week would be a different category.
“Wear a pearl necklace whenever you are trying a new recipe. It’s like being your very own version of Julia Child. And having the best around you, when you are trying something new, you can never go wrong” My pearls of wisdom to myself
This blog and my baking journey is an ode to this incredible woman who did not even know to boil an egg before she moved to France, yet later taught generations of women and even men how to master the art of French cooking. My inspiration and a role Model. So, with my new printed ‘baking for beginners’ book and my mum’s pretty pearl necklace, let’s cake baby 😉