We baked a cake today. I think that someday when we look back on this day, we will never be able to say, “This was the so and so date of the so and so month.” Dates and numbers and figures are meaningless without its measure, and the truest measure of time are the moments spent in them. I think, instead, we will say, “Remember that day when we baked the cake?”
We’ll remember buying ingredients from a local shop, we’ll laugh about our clumsy and careful way of putting in the ingredients without measuring cups, we’ll think back on the scepticism we felt when the ingredients didn’t mix well enough and the sudden fear that caught hold of us- what if this was not perfect, or worse, inedible? We never said those fears aloud of course, they were too heavy to be left hanging in the air. Instead we said, ‘I hope this cake will turn out okay,’ which is almost the same thing. Almost.
When all the ingredients were mixed together, and the batter looked thick and brown, we felt relieved, and when we poured it into the vessel, we smiled. Then, we waited. Soon it was time, and we didn’t make a lot of noise; we were too afraid of how the outcome would be. Had we done it right?
There’s an exclamation of joy, we did it, the cake looked fabulous! It was almost too pretty to eat, or maybe we just felt that way because the cake was ours and we often feel pride in the things we own, as parents feel for their new born children, or owners for their pets.
We were careful with the cake, we decorated it with chocolate, put it in a fancy plate and then took pictures to show the world our creation.
Then, we ate. Savoured every bite. The cake that came out from the kitchen that was so clumsy and yet so perfect, the cake settling into our stomachs as we ate ate in our pajamas, and we knew then- this was never just a cake.
This was more than its ingredients- this was two friends and a mother making the best of what they had, this was the beating and the mixing and exasperated laughs in between, this was the concern and the elation- this was more than baking; this was the joy of baking.