I switched on the kitchen-aid mixer and creamed together butter and sugar. Its repetitive whirling song was a comforting melody recounting history. The juncture brought me to the earliest germ of this journey’s progression.
Baking, in my childhood kitchen, and then again in my earliest professional endeavor, connects my past with forward motion. The taste and smell of crystallizing sugar and buttery wheat return me to kitchens from homes left behind and a vision of the wild youthful excitement and untamed aspiration that put me on the path to where I am now.
In this iteration, though my exuberance has waned, my framework is richer. Classical study is based on practicing long established traditions and through that lens I’ve found new perspective. In the kitchen, ratios and chemistry form my understanding. A batter is no longer a mixture of butter and flour but a scientific study of emulsion, temperature, and pH. It is an excercise in application.
My initial thought as I began the module was that I had in some way come full circle, but in actuality that is only a longitudinal marker. I stand at an angle of much greater latitude and barely resemble the young woman that made cookies in the late night hours. The shift, often disorienting, is affirming, and the taste of nostalgia fades in the soft subtle scent that forms.