And then I learnt

A few years ago, I could not differentiate between garlic and ginger. I didn’t cook. And I certainly didn’t bake. Cooking and baking were tasks performed by GIRLS. Girls, whose only ambition was to find a husband and pop out some kids. Girls who didn’t want jobs and ADVENTURES. Girls. who liked pink, tiaras and understood the difference between base and foundation. Girls who weren’t me.

A lot has changed since then. I no longer think of females, who can bake and cook as “girls”. I think of them as women; as matriarchs. I think of them as accomplished individuals. I think of them as women, who nurture and sustain loved ones.

This change in thinking, this transformation wasn’t instantaneous. It started with a thought that any individual over 25, who couldn’t adequately feed him or herself, was pathetic. So in 2012, I dedicated one day a month to baking, to learning, to creating, to never giving up, to finding ONE signature dish that I would whip out at EVERY family function.

I learnt a LOT that year. I learnt that you should never ever, ever pour boiling water on to active dry yeast. I learnt that if you DO make the mistake of pouring boiling water onto active dry yeast your (MY) mom will scream, “You killed it!” (Dramatic much?) I learnt that I really hate being screamed at. (Wait. Nope, I’ve always known that.) I learnt that attempting Chelsea Buns isn’t for amateurs and you need some serious baking skills to attempt the feat. I’ve learnt that you should wait for your cupcakes to cool down BEFORE icing them. I’ve learnt that there’s a certain pride and satisfaction that comes with creating something delicious. I learnt that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve almost anything, all it requires practice and dedication. I learnt that friends will describe my salted caramel chocolate tart as, “NOT a dessert. This is pure decadence; a heart attack waiting to happen.” I learnt.

I still don’t like pink, tiara or know the difference between base and foundation, BUT I can bake.

If you’re looking for awesome food blog, may I suggest Joy the Baker? She’s an awesome photographer, storyteller AND cook.

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Wes Anderson’s latest offering, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will be showing at The Labia (a cinema in Cape Town) on 20 March. I simply cannot wait!

2 comments

  1. I am not a girl and I’ve made curry from scratch and I don’t mean pouring premise sauce over stir fry. I’m talking about toasting, grinding and mixing individual spices to make the sauce. I can basically cook anything with a recipe. Sadly, much like my musical abilities, I have no improvisational capabilities.

  2. “I have no improvisational capabilities.” Oh, I am not at that stage either. I can follow a recipe pretty well, but I can never taste a dish and say, “Oh it’s missing some coriander. Or it needs a little more ginger.” My greatest fascination with cooking shows is Master Chef. I can’t believe that there are people out there, who can be given a handful of ingredients and told to create something from that. How do these people know what works well together?

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