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Eaten Alive



Okay, maybe this is a little harsh since a cookie isn't actually alive, but don't your creations seem so sometimes? Our hearts are poured into baking, working at a balance of technique and aesthetic. And this year, I suspect that Christmas baking was more highly esteemed all around the world, due to our continuing restrictions.


Here is an art form that is highly underrated: home baking. Just think about a childhood birthday cake. Describe that in your head and recognize that it has a special place in your heart: Baked by love and kept alive by feeling loved. Or when you helped grandma decorate a cookie. That little creation was building relationship. It was a wholesome and sensual event: Working with your hands, creating texture, appreciating the colour and pattern, the smell of the spice, the loud crunch or soft squish as you tasted the molasses, orange zest or...? The hugs that followed carried with them the memory of this creative experience too. Did you ever walk into a mall and there in the centre was a display of gingerbread houses? Perhaps you were as fascinated with these as you are at an art show? I can be. What does home baking say about our culture?


Let's explore beauty in baking through history. Some early "proof" of beautiful baking appears to be 3000-1800 BC when a Semite (Syrian) made this clay mold for his bread or cake. And although it might not be something sentimental, it was possibly hoping for luck or celebrating some: Two casual goats and a lion taking down prey.