Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Excuse Me While I Master Bake
I had a dream last night that I was making scones. And, inspired by my dream, and proof that dreams really do come true, I spent my day making both the cranberry-orange and strawberry varieties. Of course, unlike my dream, I prepared and baked them while fully clothed in my own kitchen, and not in the middle of an ampm convenience store clad only in my underwear. And while my scone pans are still packed away (which is to say lost) in the garage, there is something to be said for the rustic beauty of the hand cut. Just like grandma used to make. Well, not my grandma, per se, but, you know, someone's.
I find that there is something so seductively tangible about baking. It is so linear. Creative, but precise, it is far more science than art. And in the end you have something to show for your work, a product not just an outcome, something concrete, something measurable. It's all so zen. A plus B equals C. Energy transfigured into form. Elegant in its simplicity.
This is what my life of late has been lacking. I have been alienated from the fruit of my purpose. And, if only for a short while, baking offers a very tangible, fulfilling reminder of a feeling of productivity; that I have something to offer the world.
I was also recently bitten by the need to begin to photograph my food, in the attempt to build a working "portfolio" to show potential customers to Jacob's Kitchen. And while I am neither a food stylist nor skilled photographer, I must say that I have gotten considerable pleasure out of these photo "shoots." It's gratifying, creating something concrete to take away from such a temporal medium. I find myself trying to think of excuses to bake more of my favorite things in order that I might photograph them.
Perhaps tomorrow will be all about muffins, or perhaps my dreams will have something else in store. Who knows, maybe I will close my eyes to find myself naked in a subway restroom trying to make rugelach. Only time will tell.
Until then, happy eating.
Posted by Jacob Blankenship at 9:28 PM