My mum hates baking.
She hates how a lot of baking is just waiting around for something to cook. She’s a stir-fry kind of lady, where food goes into a wok raw and comes out steaming hot and cooked through within ten minutes. Baking just takes far too long and she’s a busy woman.
So you see, I’ve never had the childhood memories a lot of people may have about learning to bake with their mum or their nana. Me, I learnt baking through the same method I learnt English.
Books. No warm fuzzies for me. I loved how enchanting baked goods can appear through the windows of a patisserie and the glorious smell of freshly baked bread. I wanted desperately to be able to create such fantastic things that look, smell, and taste so divine.
The first oven I had, I begged for it for ages and I got it when I was 14. It was “portable” and electric, a hulking silver round thing that I perched precariously on the edge of the kitchen counter. It had a tiny round window on top for you to look at your baking goods. It had a temperature gauge on the outside, but no way to actually control the internal temperature. You either switched it on or off. The lid often got stuck. I suffered many a burn on my hands and arms from battling with this oven.
The first thing I baked was a batch of rock-solid muffins, burnt through, baked either far too long or far too hot. My brothers joked that you could kill someone by throwing the muffins at them.
Thus began my lifelong love for baking, and this is my journey.