How I Procrastinate (with Baking, and why I Love it)

So yeah, I bake.

Or at least, I try to bake. I like baking. I like cakes.

   None of the above mean I’m any good at it though, but baking has been a hobby of mine for nearly as long as I can remember. And what I do actually remember is being very little (probably about three years old) and making those instant-ready-cake-mix-bag-kit-type-things for kids, the ones where you can stick edible pics of your favourite TV characters such as Dennis the Menace of Thomas the Tank Engine.

   I always used to make these with my Mum, and soon progressed onto making actual cakes by watching my Mum do her magic. She’s a master at making a multitude of mouth-watering treats. Victoria sponges, gingerbread, and flapjacks are her speciality.

    My own specialities are included in this post; toffee and cinnamon cake with white chocolate chunks and a brownie fudge pie, also with choccy chunks.

Baking is always a near-fatal disaster with me.

Baking is always a near-fatal disaster with me.

    They’re as messy to say as they are to make, but their fun to make as well, which has always been a huge attraction for me as an amateur baker. I don’t know whether it may relate to my love of story/poetry writing as well, but I just love creating things. Lego was practically part of he furniture in my old room back home.

    I bake for many different reasons. The main reason being that it’s fun, tasty, and saves me having to go to the shops to buy a teeny tiny pack of six something’s that cost loads and only last half a day. I also bake to show gratitude to people, like today when I baked these two lovelies and gave a couple of slices to my housemate as a thank you for setting up our TV with Freeview.

Nom.

Nom.

    I also bake to help other, like in a previous post where I blogged about baking eight tins worth of cakes to attract new members to our Uni’s TV Group, of which I’m a member. With over 100 new members in the bag, I’d say it worked!

    I also bake to procrastinate (the reason I baked earlier today), i.e. not wanting to do an assignment I’ve got due for next Thursday in my Writing the Screen module. I’ve already mapped it out, and it just needs typing up anyway.

    I also bake to win people’s affections, but that one time with this girl never really quite worked out like I wanted it to, but that’s a whoooole other story…

Soooo much nommy nom noms going on here.

Soooo much nommy nom noms going on here.

     But I guess its the main reason that sticks the most. It’s a very gratifying feeling you get when you poke the knife in the middle of the mixture and it comes up dry. With me that rarely happens. And its even more gratifying when you take that first bite and its exactly how you wanted it to be, because I think that’s a huge reason as to why people bake, you create exactly what you want.

Grazing on a Graze box.

I’m not one to say no to free snacks. So when a local shop started dishing out little cards that had a code on them which allowed you to receive a Graze box, for free, who was I to say no?

    To start with, I found their site a little difficult to manage. I looked through all the various snacks they had, giving them a rating of ‘love’, ‘hate’, or ‘try’, or whichever option they gave. I put in for my free box and it arrived pretty promptly, within a few days.

Almost too good to eat!

Almost too good to eat!

    On opening the box, its contents were not quite the ones I had selected online. For starters, the ‘Inspired by Jaffa Cake’ selection was one that, given the choice (which I thought I had), I wouldn’t have gone with at all, as I can’t stand chocolate and fruit mixed together. And this other little thing, a ‘Lemon and Poppy Slice’, seemed to appear from nowhere, as I don’t remember seeing i ton the sight.

    But the other two selections, ‘Brooklyn Bites’ and ‘Korean Chili Rice Crackers’ were definitely up my street. And all four of the treats were delicious! The Jaffa Cake selection was a mixture of dark chocolate buttons, oven-roasted nuts, and orange raisins, and was a pleasantly surprising munch.

    The Lemon and Poppy slice was simply gorgeous, and the free tea bag? Well, I’ve already mentioned that little adventure in my previous post… The Brooklyn Bites were just what I’d thought they be’ crunchy, savory and moreish. The mini-pretzels, cheese cashews and pumpkin seeds all had splendidly different textures and slightly different types of savoriness to them.

Nomnomnomnomnom.

Nomnomnomnomnom.

    I chose the Chili Crackers thinking they would be like Snack-a-Jacks, and indeed they were, only here they were a healthier alternative. Overall, the whole mixture was simply scrummy, but sadly I don’t have the money to treat myself to one of these boxes EVERY week. They cost some three-four pounds, which might not seem a lot, but it still all adds up.

    Still, if I manage to become a best-selling author, an internationally renowned baker, and a world-wide media emperor, perhaps I’ll spare a few bob and join up with the Graze team on a permanent basis.

The Ballad of Baking, a new poem

A Sunday morning, bright and clear,

To stay in bed, or bake?

Its fine to sleep, but oh, those smells!

The bug to bake has got me up!

 

The sheets are off, the clothes are on,

It’s time to zoom into

The kitchen, apron at the rea-

But wait, where has it gone?

 

I thought I left it with the coats,

It must be here somewhere,

I swear! Oh wait, it’s here, beneath

The mackintosh, thank God!

 

What kind of cake should I create?

A toffee one! Says who?

The greatest housemate in the world!

But when I made a cake before,

 

You weren’t so grateful, were you? Oh,

I will this time, I swear!

Okay, okay! Well off you go,

I need to bake alone!

 

So off he goes, the little shit,

While I bring out the eggs

And flour, sugar, margarine,

And in the bowl it goes.

 

I don’t bother to do it well,

The best from me, he just

Shan’t get! But how about instead

Of using toffee, we

 

Put in some chilli! What a thought!

So in it goes, and cooks

Away. He’ll love this cake,

I think it’ll blow him away.

The Power, and Danger, of Free Cake

    Earlier in the week, our Uni’s TV team, HUUTV (of which I am a member) took to the Fresher’s Fair along with the Uni’s newspaper and radio teams as part of the media stall. I’d spent the last couple of days baking six tins and two shoe-boxes worth of cakes and pies with the hope if using them to lure in new members.

DSC00162

    And now that we have just over 100 new members, and no cakes left, I’d say that the powers of free cake are a sheer phenomenon. As mere mortal human beings, we cannot hope to being to understand or harness its powers. We may only stand back and gaze in awe as it devours its chosen target.

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    Many people would think that would be the other way round, but the truth is that it is always the cake that chooses its human, and the cake always conquers the human.

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     Throughout the day, many cakes demolished their humans without giving them a chance to properly sign up to the media team, instead only giving them a slim chance of acquiring a leaflet on our doings.

    This is just one of the dangers of allowing free cake into an enclosed environment. Its power becomes unstoppable, a force of nature no man can hope to tame. Long may this continue.