I made banana bread yesterday. We were going over to our friend’s house, and I hate showing up empty-handed. Plus, I think baking something for someone says, “Hey, I spent at least 35 minutes gathering ingredients, measuring stuff, stirring and then washing up all the dishes because I care.”
I pre-heated the oven. I creamed the eggs and sugar. I added the appropriate amount of baking powder. I followed all the instructions. I don’t know what happened. It wasn’t pretty. It had a deep, sunken split running from end to end, and no matter how long I baked it, it stayed beige. When I turned the “banana bread” out onto a tray, the bottom stuck to the baking tin.
It was too late to bake something else or pick something up on our way over, so I just went with it. The ingredients were all there: bananas, sugar, chocolate chips so I hoped it tasted good. People shouldn’t judge books, people or banana breads (!) by their covers, or color!
I sheepishly handed it to our hostess, and immediately apologized for how it looked, and possibly tasted. My hostess stopped me and said, “You always apologize for what you bake and you shouldn’t. It’s always been great.”
There are certain things that we do, and we don’t know why we do them, we just do them. But I do know why I apologize for my baking.
My sister is the baker…
She makes her own bread!
She grows herbs in her garden, and they don’t die.
She even has a food blog (Mint Green Apron) that was named Jamie Oliver’s Blog of the Month. She knows all about yeast and flours and measurements and icing and unsalted butter.
(And, when you’ve got a wedding, anniversary, birthday or retirement party, and you need a cake, and you’ve known Michelle for at least 3.5 years… she will make you one. She is just that kind of person.)
My sister is known for: growing her own food, birthing adorable children, being terrible at games (we call her “No Points Michelle”), head-banging to grunge music, and baking.
I’m the sister who writes silly blogs about silly things, and doesn’t bake.
I buy bread. I kill herbs. I do not have a food blog. I bring soda and pretzels to parties. I invite people over for dinner and order take-out.
I am not a baker. Or, at least that is what I’ve been told… my entire life.
It’s interesting how comments (and sometimes criticism) sometimes stick. It might be true. It might not be true. It might be an offhand remark. It might be an insightful observation. Either way, it doesn’t have to define you forever.
I might not be a baker now, but I could be. I could learn about yeast and flours and measurements and icing and unsalted butter… if I wanted to.
(I don’t want to.)