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Bon appétit

Baking lessons

manuelita otero


I love eating, I like cooking, but I can’t bake. It’s not that I don’t like it; I’m just not good at it. So these past weeks I have surprised myself by looking through Pinterest for baking recipes, especially cakes, which are my weakness. I bake the same way I do everything in life. I find several recipes and they all look good so I start two at the same time, half way through the process I decide to add different ingredients or I refuse to put the measurements required. Surely my cake doesn’t need all that sugar and butter, right? But apparently it does and it is obvious when I see the final results which don’t look at all like the photos in the recipes. I have promised myself in the past never to bake again, but here I am, refusing to give up. It’s worth it. A warm piece of freshly baked cake with a cup of coffee is such a beautiful thing.

A friend explained to me that when baking you have to follow instructions carefully. She said baking is an exact science, a wonderful chemical reaction and a perfect blend of ingredients. The right amount of sugar and butter; the right flour depending what you are making, the right time mixing the batter, and we could go on. Too many things to keep in mind, that’s why it’s so difficult for me. I just don’t like following directions, not because I am a rebel or a troublemaker, I think I may just be a little impatient and impulsive. Baking also takes time and preparation, and ingredients that you just can’t improvise. In other words, baking is harder than it looks.   

As I mix the batter of my next creation, I think that maybe I am not a bad baker; my baking simply reflects my lifestyle. It is imperfect, uncertain, not planned, following mainly a passion and a joy for life which really can’t be measured, planned or described in 5 simple steps. We want to believe that we can have the success of other people if we follow their path and copy their life plan. We want step one, two and three and we want to know how can we make the process faster, but that is not how life works. Each of us has a special path; a unique way to get where we need to go and the destination may not be the same for all of us. Success for you may look different than success for others and that is good because we are all unique individuals. We need to do what makes us happy and what we have been created for. It is not a one size fits all kind of thing.

My cakes may not look like the ones I see in photos, but I can assure you that we have eaten every single thing I’ve baked. I love the process, the challenge, the expectation, and the possibility of making something good.  

Manuelita   @manuelitaotero

P.D. if you have any good recipes, please share them, I prefer easy ones and in case I haven’t mentioned I love cake and coffee so a mixture of those would be the best :)

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