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Challenge of the Week: Love Food, Learn To Bake
Last week, we explored how many people do not have the basic skills of cooking, so your challenge was to Learn How To Cook. This week, we remain on my favorite topic: Food. Instead of cooking, however, this skill requires more patience and a mix of ingredients, but usually yields perfection in taste. It is assumed that if many people do not know how to cook, they have no idea what it means to bake. When you go to a store or a supermarket and you buy a pie, cake, or cookies, or if you go out to a restaurant and order dessert, these foods are usually the results of baking.
Baking scares many people away because they think it is too hard due to the gathering of ingredients. That is it: the most challenging part is gathering all the ingredients together and this is what scares many people away from baking. Baking, however, is just as easy and fun as cooking, and the ingredients can easily be found at a local grocery store, and come in bulk, lasting for months at a time, so you can continue using these ingredients for many things that require baking. Gathering ingredients should not be overwhelming, and it should be seen more as an adventure of gathering all the necessary supplies in order to complete the quest.
Whether you need baking powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, sugar or sugar substitutes, almond flour, coconut flour, or regular flour, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, bananas or any other ingredients, all of these ingredients can be combined to make some sort of pie or cake. The process of baking usually requires a bowl or two, mixing of several ingredients, with a high-powered blender or mixer, and mixing the ingredients until they become a type of liquid substance, which often tastes as good as the results. After the ingredients are mixed together, a cake pan or cupcake pan is needed to pour the liquid in.
Before you start baking, and as you gather your ingredients together on the counter, you should pre-heat your oven, usually to 350 to 400 degrees, depending on what the recipe calls for. Many sites, such as AllRecipes.com, contain the ingredients list and the instructions for how to mix them. Plenty of YouTube videos and channels are also available to help you make and bake whatever it is you want to eat from start to finish. Many people are hobbyist bakers to professional bakers who are happy to share their recipes.
Baking is similar to alchemy, in that it seems like a magical transformation, involving food, and once ingredients are mixed together, that it can all rise to make bread, cake, cupcakes, pies, etc. Like cooking, baking is also not a “feminine job” or something that only women do. Baking is like a luxury skill to have, in that it is probably more important that you know how to cook, than to bake, but baking adds to your impressive resume in dealing with food.
The reason why baking is actually easy is because after you have gathered all the ingredients and followed instruction for mixing them together, all you have left to do is put them in their platter, apply heat to the platter, by placing it in the oven, and finally, the more challenging part: Having patience.
Baking requires that the food be baked for as little as 10 minutes and up to an hour or more. The heat from the oven will cook the ingredients together and the chemicals within the food will work like magic, rising, developing a whole new flavor, and finally, being prepared to eat. Sometimes, after baking for the recommended time period, these foods also require a cool down time, in which they must be placed in the refrigerator, freezer, or left out on the counter, in order to be ready to eat.
Baking is well worth the effort, as it often yields multiple servings, usually to feed an entire family or even an entire classroom. While baking can certainly be dangerous, and I am witness to burning myself many times, simply from trying to pull the pan out of the oven, with adult supervision and proper caution, both adults and children can and should be taught to bake. Baking is another human skill that is not done by any other species on this planet.
Your challenge this week: Figure out what you want to bake and bake it! The possibilities with baking are endless and just changing a few of the ingredients can change the flavor, texture, and what the baked good will become. Learning how to bake is yet another way to a man or a woman’s heart! There is certainly something magical and rewarding in watching others eat what you bake, and not just eat it, but enjoy it, and sometimes, ask for your ingredient recipe!
Make it, bake it, eat it!
In light of learning how to cook and learning how to bake, we want to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!