The Baking Odyssey of an Introvert

This blog has been a long time coming. I have previously considered starting a blog of some sort, but always shot myself down before I got started. Why? Well, this may come as a big surprise to some of you, but I am an introvert. In fact, my husband and I have agreed that I currently hold the title of The Most Introverted Person We Know. I’m not really proud of this fact, but it seems to just be who I am.  So naturally, being one who prefers to listen rather than talk, I have never felt that I had enough to say to justify a blog.  That, and when you’re an introvert, putting yourself out there is a bit scary.

Anyway, I have finally decided to start a blog of sorts. I have always loved writing. I had an English professor in college who tried his hardest to get me to switch my major because he liked my writing. Since college my writing has mostly been limited to the charts I write/dictate, which doesn’t allow for much expression. So I’m looking forward to exapanding that a bit. As an introvert, I find it much easier to express myself in writing than I do face-to-face. It’s rather difficult to take your time in thinking, and to hit the backspace key to re-word things just the way you want when you’re talking to someone.

Being a woman of few words, I have a few other means of  really expressing myself as well. One is playing my flute. Unfortunately, that one has been on the back burner for a few years. I fully intend to dive back into the world of music when I have the opportunity to do so. Right now it just isn’t too practical.  When you have two small children, the best time to do things for yourself is when they are napping– and playing the flute is a bit noisy at times. I also try to be mindful of the fact that we live in apartments, and my neighbors may not appreciate the wall-piercing high B-flats.  I’m hoping that in a few years when my kids are older, and when perhaps we might have a house of our own that I will be able to start playing more seriously again.

My other passion that I have developed is baking. I’ve always enjoyed it, but my love for baking has been developing along the way. When my husband was in seminary we met a good friend who is an amazing chef. As we shared life together, he also shared a bit of his excitement and passion for food with me, and inspired me to start taking pictures of what I baked and to start being a bit more adventurous. And even though his cooking skills were way above my league, for some reason he loved my baked goods, which gave me a bit of a boost in confidence.  I still hadn’t felt that I had much to share though until recently, when some family members started drooling over all the food pictures they happened to see on our screen saver, and asking questions about what they were pictures of. In fact, I may have even inspired my mother-in-law to start taking pictures of things that she makes! I realized that maybe other people would find it more interesting than I thought, or at least would be able to know what I have made so that they could request something that they think looks particularly yummy!

Baking has become my means of processing life. When I’m stressed, or sad, or upset, or needing a chance to think things through, I find myself pouring over recipes and reaching for my mixing bowl.  Since I’m usually in the kitchen by myself it gives me a chance to think, pray, and generally try to process life and make sense of it all as I put my energy and emotions into trying to create something instead of just worrying. I’m not really sure why this works for me, but it does.

The bad thing about using baking as your therapy is that sometimes the things you bake don’t always turn out well. It doesn’t entirely help you feel better when you pour yourself into doing something only to have it be a big flop. But I have been thinking, that perhaps just like life in general,  it is not the number of successes and failures that are important so much as it is the journey and what you learn in the process (although the successes are much more fun to eat!). I like to think that during my time in the kitchen I have learned not only about life, but about baking as well. It has been an odyssey of sorts. 

My intention is to try to document that journey and the things that I learn about baking as I go, to help me remember the lessons I have learned. As far as the life lessons that I learn while I’m in the kitchen, well, don’t expect to see much more than some occasional glimpses of those here. I am, after all, an introvert.

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