>Gardening and baking. Two seemingly dissimilar activities, both serve a similar place and purpose for me.
I tried to blend butter and sugars the other day and the butter wasn’t ready. It reminded me to plan ahead, get the butter out ahead of time, and let it sit. I stopped, waited, and got back at it with better results and a more peaceful, easy feeling. The cookies were delicious.
Gardening is also a slower process, a contrast to my high pressure teaching job. When I put the garden to bed for the winter, it’s a melancholy feeling not only for the yield, but because I truly miss working with my hands in the dirt.
Both gardening and baking let me incorporate a few more healthy ingredients into our menus. Spinach, fresh tomatoes, and crisp green beans make their way onto the family table in late summer and fall. When I bake from scratch, I can control the ingredients that make their way onto my family’s plates, not to mention using up foodstuffs that might otherwise go to waste. I recently used up two very ripe bananas in a banana bread. Husband helped; he peeled the bananas.
Gardening gets me out of the house and away from distractions like the telephone. Baking doesn’t do exactly that, but it does take me out of the whirlwind that is my life. Putting the ingredients together, measuring properly, following a recipe (well, to some extent) all take just enough concentration. Just enough, that is, to take my mind off the many day to day stressors.
We’re steadily working our way through the Christmas cookies, so I’m looking at a few other ideas to plant in the kitchen. Cranberry muffins, anyone?