Baking has always been a stress reliever for me. The chance to do something creative with a clear payout at the end. I literally have my cake and eat it, too! I’ve found a sense of routine in baking, no matter what it is. You may have found your own patterns when it comes to projects; whether it’s baking, home improvements, school assignments or cleaning. We all have habits and patterns. And for me, that definitely comes out in my baking.
Part One: Inspiration
Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Google. The first step is always the spark of inspiration. My camera roll is full of screen shots of stunning cakes and cupcakes. At Christmas it’s pages and pages of beautifully iced cookies or decadent pastries. It’s always the look that gets me first. Any flavor cake can be the base, but what does it look like? That’s the key. If it looks good, I want to eat it.
Part Two: Research
This is maybe the most important part. Its where I decide if I have or can find the right ingredients and if I will every have the time to actually bake it.
Usually, I have a holiday or celebration coming up, or someone in mind (like my husband) who I know will want to taste anything I make!
Part Three: Prep & Bake
I very rarely bake from start to finish in a single setting. Partly because I rarely have that much time free at once and partly becuase I find it’s more enjoyable for me to take moments away while I’m creating. When I feel pressure to start and finish without a break I become anxious and tense. Baking while tense doesn’t often end well. So unless I’m baking something simple like my grandpa’s chocolate chip cookies or my go-to chocolate cupcakes, I prep and bake in one sitting and decorate later in the day. This also allows for Part Four: First Clean Up.
Part Four: First Clean Up
My childhood nickname was “Tornado.” I’ll leave it to you to image the wake of mess I left behind me in the house. While I love being organized, somehow being tidy didn’t always happen naturally. And though I may be ok with a pile of dishes in the sink while I’m baking…my husband is not. So, to keep the peace and to practice tidy habits, I always clean up between the baking and the decorating. While the cake is in the oven, the dishes get washed (or loaded) and the counters wiped down. I also like this because it gives me a clean surface to start with when it’s time to decorate!
Part Five: Decorating
Clearly, this is the best part. Whether it’s royal icing on my mom’s gingerbread cookies or practicing my piping on cupcakes for a bake sale, decorating is where we switch from science to art. Finding and using right color, the right tip, the right garnish is what makes what you’ve baked come to life. It’s what makes the customer behind the counter point and say “Oooh, I’ll have that one.”
Part Six: Second Clean Up
Part Seven: Show and Share
This is what it’s all for. To show it off and to share it. To take pride in something you worked hard to create. This is the time we sit back and look at what we did. And then bring in the people we love to share in it!
Lydia Keith started at Recycle Technologies after the company was purchased in March of 2020. Her organizational skills, ability to learn quickly, and familiarity with government requirements and guidelines will be immeasurably beneficial to Recycle Technologies and its path forward in the changing and growing world of recycling.