Are You A Baker-Non-Baker?

October 02, 2013

When I was out in the dating world a couple years ago I made up this term called dating-not-dating. It’s a really poor use of the English language. And I’m ashamed of that. But I used it because I would go on “dates” with guys that I wasn’t really interested in dating. In fact, I wasn’t interested in dating anyone at all at the time. Not seriously, at least. (Or so I told myself.) So anyways, I would makes plans to meet a guy out for a drink and then tweet that I was going on a date-not-date. Because I was dating but I wasn’t really a real dater. (My ex therapist is fully aware of my issues.) Over the past few years people have referred to me as a baker. They’ve introduced me as a baker. Called me a baker. Written about me as a baker. Told me I’m a baker. And each time I respond with, “Whoa whoa whoa, I am not a baker.” As I was baking cakes last night for Dan’s birthday I kept thinking about how much of a baker I’m not. I even said aloud, “I’m a baker-non-baker.” Donald looked up at me in confusion and then I dropped a frosting covered spatula onto his body. [caption id="attachment_1711" align="alignnone" width="300"]photo 2 (13) Mini chocolate birthday cakes (recipe pg. 23) with mint chocolate frosting (recipe pg. 33).[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1713" align="alignnone" width="225"]photo 1 (15) Frosted Donald. Whoops.[/caption] See, I’m totally a baker-non-baker. What is a baker-non-baker? You’re beyond clumsy. You have butter hands even when there’s no butter in your hands. Spatulas? To the floor. Buckets of powdered sugar? Soaked into your clothes and hair. Boxes of cupcakes? Falling off of windowsills. When Dan stopped by to pick up his cake last night he pointed out all the frosting on my face. Baker-non-bakers always have frosting on their faces, in their hair, and on their dogs—and have no idea it’s there. covered in sugar You’re forgetful. Did you add one cup or two cups of flour already? Crap, the oven timer isn’t on—has that cake been baking for 5 minutes or 10 minutes? You thought you bought oil? Where’s that cake pan you thought you had? I’m notorious for forgetting something everything yet pulling it all off as if nothing went wrong. Substituting ingredients, guessing the baking time, eyeballing measurements—this is where I shine. You’re untrained. It feels morally wrong to call yourself a baker when thousands of people attend pastry school or at least attend Michael’s cake decorating classes to earn the honor of that title. I merely Googled and watched YouTube videos to learn baking. You don’t LOVE baking. You like baking, certainly, but you don’t love it. (I feel like I’m betraying my child in saying this.) Real bakers truly LOVE baking. They love the act of baking, the smell of baking, the eating of baking. They just love it all. You’re not a real baker unless you love baking. I don’t love baking. What I like about baking is the act of creating. Creating something sweet and glorious out of raw materials. Creating something delicious out of flavors that no one would’ve ever thought to combine. Creating something new and exciting and impressively perfect. Problem solving when things go wrong. Problem solving the forgotten oven timer, forgotten ingredients, and missing cake pans. And the excitement of pulling it all off when luck is not on my side. You don’t have a baking blog. It would be a no-brainer for me to have a baking blog, right? I owned a cupcake shop, won Cupcake Wars, wrote a baking cookbook, and have a blog—a blog that is not a baking blog. There are a ton of really superb baking blogs out there such as Baking Bites, Brown Eyed Baker, and Bakerella. They are real bakers and they nail the baking blog thing. I can't compete with these ladies. For me, the thought of learning photography skills and actually baking every single day is painful. Just painful. I enjoy throwing some recipes and baking in here and there (and I’ll be doing a lot more for the holidays) but a real true baking blog, I will never be. I have to admit, it’s pretty great being a baker-non-baker. We have the best of both worlds—the baking and the non. We can bake when inspired or sit on the couch drinking wine and watching Shark Tank when not. We can even win Cupcake Wars. And write cookbooks. And maybe someday, take over the whole baking world! (Nah. Don’t worry bakers—we wouldn’t even want to do that.) Are you a baker-non-baker?   

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