Progress report !

    After writing the last post, I realized that I had successfully, or for the most part at least, completed 1/5 of Anna’s cookbook. That is, I completed 40 recipes out of the 200 recipes found in “Back to Baking”. When I first started in October, 9 months ago, I purposely decided to not set myself a deadline. With my studies, work, volunteer work and other obligations, I did not want to make myself go insane by doing 200 recipes by a set deadline. As can be deduced from this blog, baking is one of my passions. When I have a joyful day, a sad day, an exhausting day or a day when nothing goes right, I bake. Baking is my little escape from the world and its obligations. It makes me happy. However, I felt that if I was “forced” to bake to complete a deadline, I might not enjoy it as much. Fortunately, so far I have enjoyed making every single recipe. I feel that with each recipe, I have learned a new trick or a faster or better way of doing something. Each recipe as taught me something new. Being accustomed to only baking cupcakes and cakes, I can now say that I have made pies, tarts, bars, bread, scones, more complex cakes and a plethora of cookies. While making these delightful desserts, I have never felt the pressure of having to do them. Nonetheless, I think it is time to set myself a reasonable, not too far-fetched yet existing deadline. I thought about it, and soon realized that the most perfect deadline that would allow me to still live a normal life and not go insane is October 21 of next year, namely October 21 2014. At this date, it will have been 2 years that I started this blog, which I think is an ideal date to close it up. That leaves me with 160 recipes to do in 1 year and 3 months. That seems like it is plenty of time, but in the end it’s about 2 to 3 recipes per week. It doesn’t seem like a problem at all but ironically, one of the difficulties that I face while completing this challenge is that I am not surrounded by many people to help me eat all these baked goods! I no longer have a roommate, my family is not a huge fan of desserts (how? why?!) and my friends are a bit far. Hence, I find myself bringing treats at work on numerous occasions or am “condemned” to eating a lot of dessert.

   On a happier note, I have just obtained a baking tool that will be a great asset and a great motivation to reach my goal. My parents made me the best (early) quarter-century birthday present and bought me a red Kitchenaid stand mixer. That seems like nothing. Just a mixer. But it means a lot to me. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted and dreamed about having a red Kitchenaid stand mixer. It must be red. I just knew that with this apparatus everything would be a lot more feasible. Knowing that these mixers are quite expensive (remember, I am a student!), I never expected that I would actually own one. As such, this present means a lot more than just an expensive multi-purpose kitchen tool. It is, I find, I pat-on-the-back from my parents; a small sign that they acknowledge and accept my passion for baking. They don’t understand it (“Why bake a cake when you can buy one for 10$ ?”), but at least they understand that I love it and that it makes me happy. Hence, with this incredible gift I will bake and bake even more! I have already used it a couple times and, I must say, it’s pretty awesome. Nothing short of my expectations. Okay, enough with this happy rambling on…

    All to say that I have enjoyed this experience thus far very much. I am now ready to set myself a deadline and complete the totality of “Back to Baking” by October 21, 2014. I am also very appreciative of all the views and comments I have received, none of which I expected. My intention was never to be seen or read. I was and am still doing this for me. To learn and to grow. The support, however, is much appreciated and welcomed. So, thank you very much for that. I hope you will follow me until the end! Lastly, I want to give myself two objectives for the future. First, I want to improve the quality of my photographs to make the food more appealing, as I feel that they don’t currently do the desserts justice and 2) I want to find more people to share my baked goods with!

Me and my mixer

Valerie

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