Sunday, September 1, 2013

Love and baking; messy endeavors

When my kids were little and would help me bake I always assumed the mess that was left behind in the kitchen was a result of having little helpers.  Nope.  It is all me.  I make an absolute mess. Flour, baking soda, bits of cookie dough splattered about the counter and my clothes.  A mound of measuring cups and wooden spoons, an array of ingredients and spices; it is a work of art. And a work of love.

My rules of baking: Do not follow the directions precisely. Always modify the recipe with a little something different! Turn on some music. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or iced tea... add a little bitters...may as well start the creativity early.
Make a mess, do not clean up as you go, it hampers creativity. Turn up your music.  Sample as you go. Measure salt, baking soda and baking powder carefully, that’s the science part. As for the rest of it, do not be so careful; be bold with butter and flour.  
Be absolutely daring with extracts, spices and all things chocolate! Sing along with your music. The most important rule- decide who will be the recipient(s) of your work of art and love.  Giving and sharing my baked treats is the best part of all. Not just because it keeps me from gaining 40 pounds, but because it is part of my love language.  

 I have written before that ‘food’ is one way my family shows our love and takes care of one another.  Chicken soup when you are sick, tea and toast when you are really sick.  Macaroni and cheese or milk noodles when you are sad or homesick. Big dinners if we are proud of you. But cookies, cupcakes, pies…those are just because…just because we love you! 

That is why I cannot follow the directions too precisely, because love is not about precision. Love is messy. And everyone is a little different. My family and friends are all special to me in their own way and their baked ‘gifts’ need to be a little unique, just like them.  The beauty of all this is that the more ingredients you have,  the more friends and family, the more love in your life...the messier and more marvelous life becomes. Sing while you bake and sing while you love. Embrace the mess and focus on the gifts. 

Congratulations on your engagement Ty, and welcome to our messy and marvelous family Kenzie- we are thrilled to have you join us! Love each other boldly; be daring, creative and courageous together.

Just Only Judy


  1. Great blog Judy! I really enjoy it except now I totally want some baked goods! I can relate to the Almost Paradise blog as I too get frustrated when tourists visit my hometown, even if my hometown is a tourist resort. Luckily they only come for four months or so and then I come out of my self imposed hibernation. Great work here.... You keep writing and I'll keep reading...

  2. Thanks Yvonne! I might bake some brownies tonight. Fall makes me want to bake..although we are supposed to have a heat wave this week and break records. Better get some ice cream to go with the brownies!