I thought after a flurry of recipes and foodie reports I should have a look at the reasons behind why we do this. After all there are some aspects to being in the kitchen that arent nice - the cleaning up for one.
But the main reason to do all of this is to feel connected to what we need to survive. Food is obviously the fuel that we need to live, and in a basic human kind of way, what we need to thrive and ultimatley once thriving, continue the species.
So in that respect, food, cooking and baking become something primal. Something necessary. Vital.
Maybe that is why baking appeals and can trigger, emotional reactions. There is always the reminder that not only we need this action in order to survive, but with baking in particular, there is a connection to memory and to home.
Most people learn to bake from their parents or grandparents. Usually its from a Mother. The emotional connections with baking encompass the relationship you have with (one of) the most important people in your life, and certainly (for the majority of us) the most important person in our childhoods.
I was taught to bake by my Mam, who was taught by her Mam...And on it goes. That being said, my Dad was a professional cook, and worked for many years in an industrial bakery - but he didn't teach me cooking, in fact I never witnessed him cooking anything other than cheese on toast (that was what I needed to get better when I was ill) as in retrospect, he would have been pig sick of cooking for people by the time he got home form work.
Still the emotional connections of baking take me back to being a child - so maybe thats a trigger for me, and no doubt, many others, as to why it is such a calming, soothing, warm activity.
As an adult the activity of baking is something I find to be meditative. There is a specific action and reaction with baking, exacting measurements, solid process that is completed in order to produce something valuable and beautiful all at once. Meditation is the same way. With this concentration, focus and determination, you achieve a higher awareness of self.
Im sure I will ponder more on my own (and others) emotional connection to baking, but for right now the baby needs some porridge.
After the ecstacy....The laundry.