I Am Thankful for the Art of Baking

I once had a “friend” who said, “Oh, well, Deborah, you don’t cook–you bake!”  I could argue that she meant it as a compliment to my skillz with an oven, but my mother calls this type of person a “poison friend,” the one who says horrible things with a smile, and then you don’t realize how hurtful they were until they are out of your life entirely.

But her comments–many of them, over a few years we spent time together–were both cutting and insightful, which makes me not miss her at all.  Who wants a clear look inside themselves ALL THE TIME?  I joke.  But only partly.  The baking thing: now, as much as I resented her near-outright-statement that my cooking sucks, she was right that I can rock a baked good.  And thank Heaven for that!

I rarely feel confident when I whip up a mystery dinner with little lead-time and unfamiliar ingredients.  But I can bake up a storm like nobody’s business, and quite honestly, it’s the only way I know how to deal with stress–especially yours.  I’m not super touch-feely-huggy-gooey, but I find a nice batch of brownies soothes many of life’s hardships.  (We once had close friends and neighbors who eschewed carbs and I hardly ever knew what to do for them when times were tough.)

This holiday, we will be traveling for Thanksgiving to see my husband’s family, just for the day.  I offered to bring my great-grandmother’s handed-down-through-the-generations sweet potato roll recipe (so good your brains will fall out, as my mother says), a batch of the best chocolate chip cookies ever (recipe source: the back of the Kroger semi-sweet chips bag–NOT the jumbo bag, just the regular size bag, since there are two variations), and a batch of Seven Layer Dream Bars, the easiest cookie ever and everyone’s favorite (I omit the nuts to focus on the yummy goo factor).

I like to contribute, and I like to stay in my comfort zone.  Baking, you complete me.


7 Comments on “I Am Thankful for the Art of Baking

  1. Here, here to baking! I actually have the same type of friend, but thankfully she’s learned to be just insightful over the years. And that kind of friend I do love to have!

  2. Cheers from one baker to another! I find I am much more comfortable making a cookie or brownie than a full meal from scratch. In fact, my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year? Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting! Yours sounds yummy – hope you had a great day!

  3. I have also found that “best chocolate chip cookies” recipe to be completely perfect!

    You’re so right; I love to bake. I do cook of necessity, and bake for the fun of it!

  4. I love to cook but I’m a crummy (pun intended) baker. My dearest cooking friends are those that complement my lacks and enjoy my gifts.
    Forgive your “friend” but I do find I distance myself from those who only see my lacks. I guess when we begin to know ourselves we decide what areas of growth will really count in the long run. I’ve never know a child or spouse that loved or appreciated their parent or partner less because they didn’t excel at some aspect of homemaking. Anyway that’s what Krogers and bakeries are for!

  5. My mother is that way – but I do rock the baked goods. This year, unfortunately I failed Thanksgiving – the turkey was underdone (had to bake another hour before it could be served, meaning it wasn’t served at lunch) and I left the bag o’ parts in it. Nevermind that I made yummy side dishes, although I don’t think those were appreciated either. I had a friend like that as well, and I think she moved and we lost touch. I can’t see that happening with my mom though. I do love baking yummy warm gooey goodness. Now I need to make some brownies or cookies. Dang! 🙂

  6. Oh… I call those types a “frenemy.” :/ Life is so short that it’s difficult to tolerate such people.

    • Yes, I am familiar with this phrase–I think I tend to use “poison friend” because (1) that’s what my mom did, and (2) it reminds me of why I want to stay away. I don’t miss the time I spent with her, but I do wonder why we allow those people into our lives–and why I remember what she said to/about me so vividly. Am trying to see if there is something for me to learn from that? Ugh. Life is so much thinking sometimes.