Resistance Baking

I really do need to develop better discipline of writing this journal. I’ve been absent not for lack of baking projects – that doesn’t seem like it’ll ever be a problem – but possibly because I spend so much time actually baking that sitting down to write sometimes seems as thought it’s taking away from my baking time. Even as I type, I’ve got brown sugar “cubes” in the oven, hopefully drying out enough to maintain their shape for the duration of their use.

I think I’ve been silent here because, again, there are so many things happening across the country, and throughout the world, that are unsettling at best and horrific and inhumane at worse and I’m trying to find my voice and place in all of that. As I said when I started this new journal, I will not ignore the wider world because my baking, my evolution as a baker, is intwined with it. I’ve been having an internal monologue about what I do and how I identify. For a while after 2016’s election, I considered myself to be rage baking, meaning I baked to burn off angry energy created by the everything that’s boiled over since then. Lately, over the last several months, I’ve come to a different realization: I’m actually a Resistance Baker. I’ve hinted at this previously but now I’m beginning to define what that actually means to me.

Resistance Baking is a way for me to connect with people across more than a few walks of life and share a bit of warmth, sweetness, and joy with them. For example, last week I shared my kitchen with a new friend so that she could bake cookies to send to her family in Georgia. She’s a Jewish convert and her family members are all Southern Baptist conservatives. I have Chanukah cookie cutters. Needless to say, there were quite a few dreidels, Stars of David, and menorahs in those batches. Her mother and aunt are visiting with her up here and sampled the cookies; she said they loved them. To me, that’s a successful resistance: A liberal Black man helping a Jewish convert share a bit of joy with her family. Cool.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not claiming that all is sweetness and light now, because at the end of the day, her family still support policies and politicians whose main goals are to make life difficult for folks like her and me. I will never be okay with that. But sharing some skills with my friend to help her share the love she has for her family, that’s a way to put some kindness out in the world to hopefully help offset the cruelty.

I have an entry lined up to talk about my Birthday Tea but before that, I need to talk about the reason I have sugar cubes baking: a friend who was supposed to attend the tea (she lives in Connecticut) dropped me a note to tell me her father-in-law was sent to hospice and that she wouldn’t be able to make it. I completely understood and told her we’d get together another time. The other day she let us know that he’d passed peacefully in his sleep. So, I made some mincemeat cookies (which she would have tasted if she’d been at the Tea) and sugar cubes (from molds that she herself gave to me) to send her and her and her husband. Something sweet to help them through a sad time.

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Sent To Kim Attica - 12-11-2018
Mincemeat Cookie Tarts - 12-10-2018
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