For our independent learning projects, we were asked to choose something that we would like to learn. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to learn. I consulted my wife and she suggested that I learn to be more of a prominent face in the kitchen. With that being said, I have chosen the task of learning how to become a better baker/chef.
I’m not saying that only women belong in the kitchen. That’s not what I’m saying at all. Anymore, the kitchen can definitely be a shared space and it is becoming more and more common for the man to do a larger percentage of the cooking. But let’s be honest – in a lot of homes and relationships, women still tend to do a lot of the cooking and baking. That’s only partially true in our house.
I’ll be honest – I’m not too shabby at cooking. I can whip up some spaghetti or make some pretty good tacos. There are, however, some things that I could improve at. I would love to be able to make a roast that just falls apart when you bite into it. Or make a warm pot of chili on a cool fall day (but who are we kidding…we’re in Nebraska, so there would be cinnamon rolls to go along with that chili).
Which brings me to something that I have never really done before – baking. That is one thing that I have left to my wife. I can take a box mix of brownies or cake and throw it in the oven – that I can do. But what I am talking about here is good, made from scratch baking. My mom was an incredible baker when we were growing up. There were 8 of us kids, so we were pretty fortunate that Mom was great in the kitchen…and at everything else. To this day, she still always has homemade treats on the counter when we come to visit. I want to learn how to bake not only so that I can help out presently, but so that I can fully appreciate all the time it took for my mom to master the art of baked goods. Because trust me, she has definitely mastered it.
At the conclusion of this project, I hope to be able to pay homage to my mother and her mastery of baked goods. I will also be able to be a little bit more of a help to my wife in the kitchen.