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May 8, 2020

Baking for the Soul

by Yap Sue Ann

Covid-19, General, Life Journey

While in lockdown, people are trying their hands at baking to pass the time. What’s great about baking is that anyone with any experience level can do it. I was already familiar with baking so it wasn’t such a new thing to me. However, there were a few friends that joined this growing lockdown fad who knows nothing about baking. Hearing experiences of their baking journey, the struggles through the process, success and failures of the things that comes out of their oven, I realised that baking imparts upon us invaluable lessons about life.

Everyone’s timing and definition of success is different

First things first, we look for recipes before we even begin baking. Particularly “easy” recipes with delicious results. However, “easy” is relative to individuals. Even with simple detailed instructions, 2 different individuals will produce 2 different quality of baked goods. Some will get it immediately, some will take a few tries to perfect it.

And just like in life, where we all have guidelines and social standards to follow, we all end up in different situations in life as everybody’s journey is different. The problem with us is we’re always in a haste to reach the end goal, forgetting that the essence of success is in the journey and not the destination.

So, stop and smell the cookies.

Failure is an option and little mistakes will blow over

No one bakes and gets a perfect cake 100% of the time. And it is disappointing to mess up when you’ve spent so much time prepping and spending the money on the ingredients. No matter how careful we are at planning everything, as in life, we shouldn’t expect anything at all because there are just some things that we cannot control.

All ovens are different with differing levels of temperature. We might have left out some ingredients or might not have the proper utensils and tools. Just goes to show that precision and planning doesn’t always work all the time as there will always be external forces that you cannot control.

The best thing you can do when you fail is to learn something from it and plan the next attempt accordingly. Many a time, I’ve accidentally added an extra cup of sugar/flour and sometimes no one is even going to notice the difference. Similar to life, we beat ourselves up over frivolous things that might not even affect our future in anyway and it’s just a waste of time to worry.

Take some risks, try something new

I’m always on a lookout for new recipes. Sometimes succeeding, occasionally failing at various really difficult ones. From using premixes, to making batters from scratch and even moving to cooking with complex recipes with multiple steps. That’s because I don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again. They don’t always work out, but those are the processes we have to go through when trying out new things. Sometimes the risk for shaking things up will pleasantly surprise us and the rewards of doing something harder will also be much greater, just like anything else we do.

All things considered, acquiring a new skill is just a matter of practice and consistency.

“Practice is the mother of all skill”  -Tony Robbins-


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