As anyone who follows me on Twitter is aware, I’ve just baked my first batch of biscuits. As a blogger, rather than a baker, it’s only right that I should write about the experience; but I’m not quite sure where to start – baking seems to have been more about feeling and doing than thinking for me. This is a bit of a surprise, to be honest, especially as I’ve spent so long building up the activity in my head.
I’ve been talking about the fact that I want to try baking for months now. In fact, I’ve been talking about it so extensively that I received a load of baking related goodies for my birthday in March (aprons, gloves, cookbooks) and have had numerous invitations to “come round and we’ll cook”.
Beneath the surface, I’m a bit scared of cooking and I don’t like touching food. I’m worried about buying things like butter – and sugar – and chocolate – as we’ve rather a messy history; and I’m not comfortable keeping “unsafe” food in the house. I still don’t really see the point of cooking or, for that matter, eating things like cakes and biscuits – and, yet, when I hear other people describing their culinary adventures or see them rock up to work with a biscuit tin to share, I feel kind of left out.
In other words, it’s been a point of personal contention.
Theoretically, I could go on with a life of non-baking and, should the biscuits taste abysmal, I quite possibly will…but it’s become another one of those lingering shadows that the eating disorder has left behind, and I don’t like feeling that it’s still in control.
So I’m pushing back. With a biscuit.
As I’m doing this whole ‘new things’ fortnight, baking is an obvious starting point. I spent all morning getting in a state about what recipe to follow and whether I should go low-cal or full fat, and was then rescued by some lovely twitter people (thanks @chaosandcontrol and @catatonickid) and went with their way. Damn it, I even added chocolate buttons, though I’m slightly expecting that to be the mistake…
It was fun. Mostly, because it felt like a shared activity; but also because it’s liberating overcoming a fear. My hands smell slightly buttery, but that’s part of the challenge; and I’ve made a deal with myself to eat some as well. It was satisfying seeing something come together from nothing; strangely pleasant to feel the crumbs start forming a dough; and the smell is subtle and comforting, rather than overwhelming and threatening….
In fact, I might well try it again.