A Batter Way to Concentrate: Lessons Learned from Baking

Posted by Ely Mata on

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to feel scattered and unfocused. I've certainly felt that way lately, with distractions pulling me in every direction. So, in an attempt to reign in my wandering mind, I made a decision: I was going to attend a baking class.

Baking has a way of demanding your attention. It's not like cooking, where you can throw a little of this and a little of that into a pot and call it dinner. Baking requires precision, accuracy, and above all, focus. So, on a sunny Saturday Spring afternoon, I found myself heading to a quaint little bakery in the East Village for a baking workshop.

Funny enough, just a couple of days prior, I had been dining with friends at a  restaurant just around the corner. The East Village has a charm all its own – with its eclectic mix of eateries, vibrant streets, and endless opportunities for exploration, it's a neighborhood that never fails to captivate. I love walking around this neighborhood.

Upon entering the workshop, I was greeted by the chef and her sous chef. They led me to my assigned work table, complete with baking equipment I wouldn't dare to use on my own. While waiting for the other students, I familiarized myself with the recipes we would be working on that day, studying the list of instructions and ingredients handed to me. Excitement and nerves mingled as I donned my apron.

The workshop was scheduled to last three hours, during which we would be crafting chocolate and fruit tarts, as well as delicate madeleines. As someone who typically leans towards cooking, the idea of diving into baking was both intimidating and exhilarating.

Under the guidance of our instructor – a seasoned pastry chef with a great sense of humor and a flour-dusted apron – we embarked on our culinary journey. With each step of the process, from rolling out the perfect pie crust to piping the batter for the madeleines, I found myself completely absorbed in the task at hand.

There's something incredibly meditative about baking. As I measured, mixed, and meticulously decorated each pastry, the chaos of the outside world seemed to fade away, leaving only the rhythmic hum of the oven and the scent of anticipation hanging in the air.

By the time the workshop drew to a close, I felt a profound sense of accomplishment. Not only had I conquered my fear of baking, but I had also discovered a newfound sense of focus and clarity. In a world filled with distractions, sometimes all it takes is a little flour, butter, and sugar to help you find your center. And it certainly didn't hurt that I got to take home my baked goods!



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