Baker’s Withdrawal

Our oven broke last week, and so my baking has coming to a grinding halt. Thankfully we found out all it needs is a part, which Ryan can easily install once it comes in. In the meantime, I’ve had to go back to skimming baked good labels in hopes of finding products without HFCS and other unhealthy ingredients. This task always results in temper flair ups and lots of imaginary letters written to large corporations. I’ve also had to get creative with meal planning and have been using our trusty crock pot more than usual.

Adding insult to injury, I’ve been given half a dozen new recipes to try out, all of which require an oven. For now, I’ve saved all the recipes to my “to try” folder. So instead of experimenting with all my new cookie recipes, I’ve had to be content with munching on old-fashioned, store-bought gingersnaps.

Some good has come of our oven outage. I’ve had a bit more time since I have been unable to bake. The kitchen has been staying cleaner. At the end of the night, it almost looks unused. All of our day’s dishes will now fit in a single dishwasher load. But atlas! There has been no fresh, gooey chocolate chip cookies. No hearty muffins for breakfast. No homemade granola for our yogurt. No lingering aroma of fresh-baked wholesome delights. With each passing day, my hands yearn to create filling, wholesome foods for our family. Ryan remarked yesterday that even he misses baking!

Baking, I’ve realized, is a wonderful, creative outlet (at least for me). I’ve yet to grow bored of trying new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients. I love that baking not only allows me to be creative, but it also brings people together as well. I fondly think of all the times we’ve gathered around a plate of cookies, fresh from the oven or of the times we’ve given fresh baked goods to other families. Over the years, friends and I have gathered around our kitchen to bake savory treats to take home to our families or to enjoy over warm coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I like to think of baking as something the feeds, not only people’s tummies, but also our sense of community.

All those store-bought goodies can be tasty (and they are certainly convenient), but they sure do not bring people together the way home-baked goodies often do. They are most often just for eating, not for savoring. They usually leave Ry and I wanting a few more out of the package, instead of being fully satisfied. This, of course, means that we go through store-bought baked goods much faster than homemade ones.

Going a few days without an oven has definitely made me realize how much I enjoy baking, as well as how blessed we are to live in an era where ovens have been invented! Over the past few days, I’ve often wondered what people did before ovens were invented. How did people make bread? Over a fire? Hmm! Talk about creativity! I’m not that brave yet! I think I’ll hold out till our replacement part comes in instead trying to attempt that feat!

*This post is shared on Real Food Wednesday.

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