Tuesday, July 7, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (B - Baking)

This post is the second in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

B is for Baking

Baking is defined as "to cook (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface." Bread is probably the most commonly baked item. However, when I think of Baking, the first things that come to mind are desserts - cakes, pies, cookies. I have always enjoyed Baking and can remember being the "official cake baker" in our family once I learned to cook and bake. 

My favorite cake-baking memory also involves one of my first recollections of INSPIRATION and creativity on my part. I don't remember who found it, but we had purchased a cake pan in the shape of a van. My Daddy worked for the telephone company and drove one of those very distinctive Southwestern Bell vans for many years. For his birthday one year, I baked him a cake and colored the icing to re-create the look of the telephone van. I even took a snapshot of the cake with the photo that I used for INSPIRATION. (Although it's not a great photo, I love it!)

Of course, Daddy really liked the cake!

I have lots of memories and stories about Baking that have been the INSPIRATION for many layouts, including a letter to my Grandma about pecan pie, my memories of magic cookie bars, and baking with my twin nieces

Almost anything can be the INSPIRATION to get me in the kitchen Baking - a holiday, a celebration, a new recipe, a get-together with friends, a photo, a story, etc. I don't remember what prompted it, but one year in December, I took a day and had what Robbie affectionately calls my very own "bake-a-palooza". . . resulting in a table full of yummy stuff. We packaged most of it up and spent one Saturday before Christmas delivering it to friends and various families in our church.

Helen Keller once said, "Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” For me, the smells associated with Baking are comforting and remind me of good times with family and friends, holidays with lots of good food, and a sense of anticipation knowing that something good is coming soon. Baking is a calming and rewarding activity.

When it comes to Baking, I almost always use a recipe because the right amount of each ingredient is important to ensure everything comes out fluffy or moist or crusty or crumbly (or whatever the desired outcome depending on the dessert!). However, in the past several months, I have not had much INSPIRATION for Baking (or cooking in general). I think part of it has stemmed from the fact that our recipe bookshelf unit had gotten to be quite a hodgepodge with books and papers stuffed in so tightly that pulling something out had the potential for causing an avalanche.

I decided it was time to tackle this project, so I pulled everything off the shelves, and set to work organizing and rearranging. We also decluttered and ended up with two small boxes of recipe books that we sold to a used book store! Now all this Baking and cooking INSPIRATION is much easier to access!

While I was working in this area, I went ahead and cleaned and decluttered the Coca-Cola shelf unit above it, too. My favorite change was replacing the rooster pie plate with one of my scrapbook layouts with a Coca-Cola theme!

Robbie is the best example I know of when it comes to merging Baking and INSPIRATION. Rather than always following a recipe, he's often simply inspired to create or try  to re-create something on his own. If we have something we particularly enjoy at a restaurant, he'll make notes on a napkin so he can try to duplicate it at home. Earlier this week, he was inspired by some berries we had in the fridge that needed to be eaten or used up. He cooked them with cherries I had picked up on my latest shopping trip, whipped up a dough, and baked us a yummy cobbler. (Served with a scoop of ice cream on top, of course!)

In summary, Baking is often the result of INSPIRATION, and Baking can be associated with comfort, nourishment, and good memories, thus the two together make life more enjoyable (and tasty).

Do you enjoy Baking? Please share your thoughts on Baking and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)


  1. When we first moved away from home---40 years ago, I started baking. It didn't take long to realize that we couldn't have baked goods around all the time. Now I tend to only bake for company. And then, during the holidays---I bake up a storm!! I actually prefer baking for several hours rather than one thing a day. I'll be baking next week as my sisters arrive for our annual sisters weekend!

  2. I love baking. I baked a little as a child with my Mum's supervision and loved to bake with my Gran. Once I married I really got into it and have collected loads of recipe books. Now Hugh and I are doing Slimmimg World I am enjoying trying new recipes from this area too. One thing I loved baking when the children were little we're birthday cakes - I made various 'models' such as Noddy bursting out of a cake, Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall, Tracy Islamd and so on. I have passed this love on to Penny and last year she made Hugh a Minion cake!


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!