“It is not doing what you like, but liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”
My grandmother, Gail Keep, was an avid baker and cook. She had her own cake decorating service where she would custom make for weddings, birthdays, or graduations. As a perfectionist, she strived to get a recipe or decorations to be the best that they could possibly be, and even then she could still have some criticism of the end result. The most important rule my grandmother had was to always follow a recipe first and then tinker with it later.
Her recipes, on the other hand, were created to perfection and no tinkering is needed. To her utter annoyance, my grandmother would always grumble at my mother’s abandonment of measuring utensils and steps in a recipe. “She’s not following my recipe, I know it,” my grandmother would tell my aunt, loud enough for my mom to overhear in the kitchen, “why should I bother giving her my recipes if she’s not going to follow them?” My grandmother’s second rule was that no one was allowed in the kitchen when she was baking. She would dominate the kitchen and the only part that she expected others to take place in was enjoying what she made.
But, of course, that second rule’s escape clause was when she would teach me and my cousins about baking. I’ve been baking since I was about three, right around the time where my motor skills were good enough for me to stir the batter. Ever since then I have loved everything about baking. The measuring, stirring/ kneading, the smells, the feel of flour in your hand, or the calmness of concentrating on creating intricate decorations.
Out of all the other hobbies that I’ve had baking is by far the longest one I’ve kept up, by always finding some new type of cake or pastry to bake around the holidays. The last four years I’ve been in college, and it was harder to find time to bake when focusing on school. Now that I’m recently graduated I want to get back to doing what has always made me happy, which is creating. This blog, Keep Bakes, is about inspiring myself to try things that I’ve never done and to honor my family’s skills and passion for baking. I’m seeking creativity in the baking, writing, and photography processes, trying to find my own happiness in what I love doing. So travel with me on my baking journey; I hope they may inspire you to bake and create.