When my students do free writing in class, they are not allowed to stop writing for a given amount of time. “But teacher, I don’t know what to write,” they whine. I tell them that they have to write “I don’t know what to write” until they think of something more interesting to say. For the past couple of hours I’ve been pondering what I would write about tonight, and I have come up with nothing. We had a wonderfully relaxing day, complete with an early afternoon nap in which I dreamed that I converted an old KFC into a bakery and then proceeded to sell vegan pea cupcakes to an old lady. We also walked to Fengjia and stuffed ourselves at Uzo. I never made it to the beef noodle shop to trade cupcakes for soup with my Facebook friend, Donny, and I feel really bad about that. I’ll have to make him something special this week and take it over there. So I guess the trick works. You usually do think of something to say after a few seconds. The hardest part is always getting started.
I’ve been reading yet another gorgeous food photography/dessert blog called Desserts for Breakfast. And once again, it is helping me define my own personal baking philosophy. Her blog, which I love, focuses on using fresh local ingredients in creative and sophisticated ways. Her recipes and food styling are absolutely beautiful, but most of the things she makes, I wouldn’t want to eat.
My style is much more simple, much less pretentious. I don’t want stupid fruits with all their healthy vitamins and fiber getting between me and my sugar and butter. I want stuff that makes me feel like a kid again. I want stuff that’s messy and fun and freakin’ delicious. Maybe it’s a class thing, but I guess that’s just part of who I am. I’ve never been and never will be rich, or even upper-middle class. When people come to my bakery, I don’t want them to be unable to pronounce my ingredients. I don’t want them to feel like they have to check their bank statement before they buy a cookie. I believe in using local and sustainable ingredients whenever possible, and I certainly make things with fruit in them, as with the chocolate cherry cupcakes. But I believe you can have delicious sophisticated flavors without being pretentious about it. Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s better.
It’s been quietly exciting for me discovering my baking point of view. I often wish that I could draw, so that I could start sketching my dream bakery. But that will never happen. The drawing part that is. Visual art has never been my forte. Hell, I can barely read my own handwriting most of the time. I’ve always been a passionate person. When I really care about something, I put a lot of energy into it. I hope you don’t get too bored hearing me talk about cake all the time, but it’s all I can think about. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been craving to give me some kitchen inspirations. I think I’ll make some chocolate chip cookies this week. Want some?