When it comes to the work I do I have to admit that baking is my love song. Cooking a massive amount of fresh pasta is a close second, but nothing quite beats the extraordinary way that baking just completely overwhelms every sense. It’s not just a treat for the person eating the final product, but the process and the action and the precision are all such acts of love and patience; I cannot imagine a sweeter gift than something that comes from the heart and hearth of a sweet friend’s home.
I have been cooking and blogging for so long that it can be hard for me to allow a wild and free mentality to take root. My first priority when it comes to cooking or baking is to nourish my family well, and because I let my imagination run rampant for my job it typically means that we stick to a pretty basic diet for our regular non-blog meals. It also means that when I get on a baking kick (like I have lately) I give a lot of food away so that I don’t end up outgrowing my yoga pants. It’s hard to do, but I’ve come close a few times before. Just sayin’.
So what does it look like to be wild and free in the kitchen for me? Right now it means allowing this amazing creativity that the Lord has given me to take over. It’s letting go of the recipe card, adding and subtracting ingredients, and boldly pouring my heart and soul into that loaf pan right before it gets shoved in the fiery oven, a recipe to be tested by the heat and pressure within. Will my recipe, will my heart, withstand the heat? Will it be molded and melted and ultimately created by it? Or will it fall flat, a failure by most standards, although still beautiful nonetheless.
I suppose I should be clear here: I don’t recommend just mixing ingredients together haphazardly and hoping for the best because in my experience it rarely works out. Like that time my parents wanted to encourage my little sister to cook and she microwaved saltines, sugar, milk and eggs together until it resembled dried Elmer’s glue? Admittedly I still shudder when I think about that one. But as Jessi said “obedience is wild and there is freedom in submission,” which is as true in baking as it is in life. So I know I can make zucchini bread wild by adding a trillion different ingredients like chopped truffles or caramel swirls and the like, but there is freedom in creating a recipe with simple ingredients that make our bodies and our souls feel good afterward.