Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

On baking.

Gingerbread Men bearing pretty much no resemblance to the ones we made today.

Gorgeous Gingerbread Men bearing pretty much no resemblance to the ones we made today.

I am not a domestic goddess. This is not self-effacing or false modesty. There are many, many things I am good at and that I love to do. Culinary creations don’t feature on that list. (Much like sewing, although that’s a story all by itself).

In my mind, I have an image of the ideal home educating mom: spending all day making clay creatures and painting masterpieces and baking perfections and sewing pretty dolls and practical dresses that will double for Sunday Best. I don’t know why I imagine this, but I really do, and no amount of self-talk will change my perspective. (I imagine. I haven’t actually tried to talk myself out of this delusion yet).

As it happens, there is a fair amount of baking in our particular brand of home education, though this could be the result of the paradigm described above. We’ve baked cakes and cookies and … well, cakes and cookies. Lots of them. We use baking as a three-in-one whammy: home economics, maths (measuring, adding/subtracting, fractions, weighing etc), and language (reading). Plus it’s fun! And really, that’s what it’s all about for me.

So today we baked once again. We’re studying trust and deception, so DD#1 read the story of the Gingerbread Man and the Fox (between cracking eggs and measuring flour and weighing sugar), while DD#2 read the ingredients and recipe steps, also helping with process of measuring and weighing and stirring. We all cleaned up and then I cut out and baked dozens of Gingerbread Men while the DDs watched the story of the Prodigal Son (deceived by people he trusted, not trusting his father – see how it all ties together?).

While I was turning the cookies out to cool I realised why it is that I am so bad at baking. (I really am, it’s totally not modest). There are a number of reasons, and here are some:

  • I have useless recipe books with inaccurate proportions and half-baked (hur hur) methods.
  • I don’t measure properly.
  • I don’t mix properly.
  • I never roll the dough out thinly enough or evenly enough.
  • I don’t bake anything for long enough or at the right temperature.
  • I spend more time worrying about tidying up and washing dishes than I do about the recipe.
  • I don’t really care enough about the end result. As long as what comes out the other end if palatable and looks okay, I feel like it’s an accomplishment.

So now I know why I’m not a good baker, but I doubt I’ll change anything. We have a lot of fun, we always have a clean kitchen afterwards, and there are never any left overs. Perhaps my baking adventures aren’t that bad, after all …

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Comments on: "On baking." (1)

  1. Joy on a Shoestring said:

    I should add that I also have very good recipe books, and the internet. For some reason, though, the recipes I decide to try tend to be in the less well-put together books.

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