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.


You Might Also Like

  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    November 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    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!

  • Diana
    November 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    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!

  • CindyC
    November 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

    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!

  • Claudia
    November 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    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!

  • Laura
    November 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    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! 🙂

  • Zoe B
    November 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

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

    • Deborah
      November 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      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.