READY, SET, BAKE!
That's what they say at the start of every bake on The Great British Bake Off or GBBO! A mesmerizing baking competition under a white tent on a luscious green meadow, with turquoise appliances and the occasional bee falling in love and landing on a cardamon, almond, honey bee-looking cookie. Yes Kim Joy, I'm talking about you and your magical whimsical bakes. The clock runs down while amateur bakers are given baking challenges, adding their own unique twist in the way of fruits, spices, sauces, and visual designs. Over the series of episodes, the baker with the best signature, technical, and show-stopping bakes will end up the winner.
I've been binging on this show for years! Watching it during COVID, a time of uncertainty and isolation has made it sweeter to watch than ever.
This competition is the most supportive, loving competition on planet Earth. The process of elimination practically leaves everyone in tears. The tension of knowing that over-proofing or under-proofing the dough will destroy someone’s bake is unbearable. The constant beating, squeezing, and mixing of ingredients is exhausting.
Let's not even go there with the instructions they have to read. It's like those complicated equations that come in the form of a riddle. For example, if Bobby has red shoes on and picks up ten rocks to put in his right pocket, what's his father's yearly salary?
Never mind the sincere camaraderie between contestants, an authentic admiration for the judges, and the personal struggles they leave behind so that we may be inspired and amused by simple acts of baking.
If there's one thing I know for sure after watching these shows is that there's no such thing as a lazy baker. Baking is a LOT OF WORK. Even if you’ve done it hundreds of times. And practice does not always guarantee it will be perfect.
After watching 10 seasons and many great bakers, I can see why unless you love it, genuinely, it’s hard work to bake something beautiful that tastes good in the end! This is not really cheap or free.
IT'S A LABOR OF LOVE.
DIY home projects have much in common with baking. Both require excellent use of math that has to abide by the laws of physics and science. There's measuring, cutting, binding of ingredients, and even using electric tools to get the job done. They also both produce an overwhelming well-deserved feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. If all goes well.
However, power tools that can cut fingers off, ingredients that are smelly, heavy, and or come with "flammable warnings" make DIY home projects way less exciting or fun to do than baking! Especially when you're not that great at math, have small hands, or want perfect results when you’re not an expert.
People tell me all the time they admire I keep doing what I do for a living. Maybe because they think of it as hard work. I get it now. I see baking as hard work and don’t want to do it, hence the reason I watch others bake for hours. Or why you may love spending hours watching HGTV.
Like baking, whatever you love to pour yourself into, gets sweeter over time. Making home projects easy to do, fun, and beautiful is my passion. I started working on it over 20 years ago, when I imagined paint that went on like yogurt and looked like chiffon just so people could paint walls and ceilings as easy as frosting a cake.
There’s no expiration date on a labor of love. Hope your pouring yourself into yours with all your heart during this time.
Stay safe and well,
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