23 March 2011

The Weekend of "Bake What You Feel"

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a rut that has taken a toll on my baking. Too often on Friday night or Saturday morning I am frantically trying to decide on something to bake Saturday afternoon. I used to have a recipe chosen by Monday night and at this time last year, a month away from Easter, I pretty much had my entire baking menu planned for the occasion; this year: no clue.

The lack of inspiration is especially discouraging because I bake only once a week on the weekend. I’m envious of my peers who are able to bake every day or a few times a week. At best I can sneak in something for breakfast Sunday morning. As a result, I usually don't do repeat recipes, no matter how much I want to, because I want to post a new recipe at least once a week. When no recipe is screaming at you to be made, it becomes a little frustrating.

Last weekend was different. I had my cornbread ready to go live so I was free to bake whatever I wanted, and I wanted banana bread. My banana bread. The recipe I haven’t posted (and probably won’t because I’m an egotistical jerk :)). In the past twelve months I have made it for all of the big family events, as well as for a few friends, but not once for myself. However, with something like three dozen bananas in my freezer, a recipe in hand for the site, and a craving, it was time.

And it was good.

Just putting the recipe together was satisfying and relaxing. Once in the oven the smell wafting throughout the house was better than I remembered. And it tasted good, soooo good, ridiculously good, because it was for me.

My mother even commented that this was the best version yet (told you she’s throwing that around), an amusing statement only because the recipe hasn’t changed in a very long time :). I know this recipe down to the gram and second, but sometimes (if not always) flavour is about mood. Normally when she eats my banana bread it comes with heavy dinners, tonnes of sweets and other baked goods. Rarely is it on its own. I can’t blame her for saying it, I had a similar reaction as I delighted in a hefty piece Saturday evening and an even heaftier piece Sunday morning. Perhaps though, like the Flaming Moe, the secret ingredient was love... or cough syrup, but probably love :).

So for the two or possibly three people who actually read this, I declare this the weekend of “Bake What You Feel” (it’s kind of like the Summer of George but only shorter and without the crippling injury… I hope). I implore you to bake something you WANT to bake. Don’t worry about anyone else. It doesn’t matter how simple or how difficult the recipe. For those of you who don’t normally bake and like my brother, can barely melt butter, there’s no shame in Pillsbury cookies (just try not to eat the dough before it gets to the oven). And if you’re like my Grandmother or one of my aunts who has more to teach than learn, pull out that old favourite recipe that gives you that eyes closed, heart warming, comfort feeling. But really the point is, don’t listen to me, don’t hold yourself to some self-imposed, arbitrary rule set, go out this weekend and bake what you feel.

And remember, I’m not only the “Bake What You Feel” Club President, but I’m also a client.



  1. Amen Adam. You obviously have a busy life, so don't beat yourself up for lack of planning. I love your blog and will be back as often as I can. Have a good evening. Blessings...Mary

  2. I know people who are busier, but I would classify my schedule as "rigid" :). And thank you so much for the kind words, it means a lot :).

  3. I really love reading this blog...:-)
    The fact that you tinker with recipes and come up with your own unique (if not always edible)variations, reminds me of the days when I was teaching myself to bake while snowbound one winter in the Midwest. It can be such a frustrating experience, to say the least. Yet on the flip side, baking is one of life's more enjoyable, rewarding and satisfying adventures - when you get it "just right".
    The rest of the time it can suck the big wazoo...:-)
    I'm going to try out a few of your recipes this week and let you know how it goes.
    Believe me, I can relate to alot of the things you've said in these blogs, and I've laughed out loud several times because I know just how you felt.
    You're very funny, Adam. Keep up the great baking and the great writing. You apparently have a talent for both.
    I say this as a baker and a writer myself.
    So now you have 4 people reading this blog.
    Life is good..:-)

    Lisa in PA.

  4. Thank's so much for to compliments :) but are you sure you're on the right website? :). I really look forward to hearing about your experience with some of the recipes, and would be intrigued by any spins you might put on them. Thanks again for the kind words, I still can't believe anyone reads this stuff :). And I don't look at it as a 4th person reading, I look at it as a 33% increase in readership :).

  5. Adam, I get into baking ruts all the time too. Sometimes having a blog makes it worse because rather than bake what you feel, there's this pressure to bake something "interesting" when what you feel like baking might be something you believe others will find boring (like brownies or chocolate chip cookies). I've had days where I've almost torn down my blog because the rut was so frustrating. Those are the days I remind myself to just bake "what I feel" and not worry about what other think. So anyway, you're no alone. I think lots of bakers feel that way.

  6. I'm glad I'm not the only one. And you're so right about the feeling of being under pressure. You always want to give people something interesting to read and you feel defeated when it feels like you haven't.