I don’t like copying. Some do, I don’t or didn’t. I want, or wanted, to be original, different. From elementary school, we’re taught not to copy from our classmates and heaven forbid we commit plagiary. I’m against plagiary, but lately I’ve been re-evaluating my capacity to be original and whether or not I really desire to be different, and whew, a lot of pressure has been lifted. With that in mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are few new ideas but there are many new experiences.
I wanted a new experience in 2011, I awoke in the early days of January with a desire to create, to express, to exit the Internet vortex and household drudgery. But what to do?
The answer came before the question really. My niece gave me a beautiful cookbook for Christmas: The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry by Judith Choate with the pastry chefs at the French Culinary Institute. It’s a 500+ page tome that mirrors their pastry school. From the first pages that descibe the attributes of a pastry chef – disciplined, precise – I knew it was the book for me. I skipped ahead to the recipes that begin around page 95, and first up are the three basic tart crusts, explained in detail with a list at the end for evaluating one’s success. I decided to bake my way through this book, one recipe at a time.
Writing is always a desired component when I want to create but I think about it more than I do it, so the natural question was “should I blog about it?” A blog gives me a deadline, the baked goods give me a structure. I’ll make two pastries a week and will shoot for one entry per item. There’s the risk of becoming repetitive and boring; the flipside being the challenge to look for unusual things, to observe the fine tuning of baking, enriching both the baking and the writing experience, for me at least. Consider it my creative exercise in public. I admit I feel a bit sorry for whomever reads this as my writing skills are rusty and that’s partly why I want to do this, to build up my writing — comments and critiques are welcome.
Google “baking blogs” and the result is 4,700,000! Only one sticks out in my mind: Julie and Julia. This has been done already; I’d be…copying. However, it’s a different book, and I’m a different person, my experiences will be different.
Hope you like it.