Science is proving that creative pursuits like baking can change your life
I grew up in a baking culture. Pies, breads, squares, oatcakes… you wouldn’t be caught dead without homemade baked goods in your kitchen lest you had nothing to offer with tea when a guest showed up, which was a frequent occurence. A boxed cake mix? Shame. A store-bought apple pie? Anathema. To this day I feel like a personal failure if I buy a ready-made pie crust. Baking was and is part of my cultural heritage but I’ve come to realize it’s actually a lot more.
In 2001, I was living and working in Washington DC and in the days immediately following 9-11, I found myself pulling out mixing bowls and measuring cups, flour and butter. I made muffins, biscuits, a pie, and a quiche; I dug out a family cake recipe and whipped up some cookies. I can’t remember who in the world ate it all because I lived alone and back then (as now) I pretty much stayed away from sugar and white flour. I probably brought it to my neighbors and colleagues, but one things for sure: I needed to bake, and bake I did. It was a balm, a way to deal with my fear, sadness, and sense of helplessness.