We all handle our emotional pain in different ways. In times of tragedy and stress, I find comfort in doing simple things that make me feel connected to hearth and home. I usually bake when I’m upset. My family and friends reap the benefits of my brand of therapy. Bread and pie are my go-to baked goods when I’m working myself out of a bad place. Cookies also work when I’m short on time.
The mechanics of baking makes me feel in control. I turn the flour to my will. The sugar is mine to measure. The butter doesn’t stand a chance against my mighty pastry cutter. My baking dishes gleam in the light like soldiers in formation eager to do my bidding. The dough becomes my personal demon that must be beaten into submission.
The aroma permeates my house with a wholesome scent reminiscent of yesteryear. The longer the aroma lingers, the better I feel. Slipping my knife through a steaming baked confection fresh from the oven is pure victory. My tension evaporates into the ether with the steam rising from my creation.
Sharing the results of my labor with my loved ones is almost as satisfying as bringing the baked goodness into being. My family and friends are a vocal bunch, and are generous with their complements. Of course, they want me to feel good about my effort and possibly duplicate it again soon. The little boost to my self-esteem usually removes any lingering traces melancholy.
I recently baked chocolate chip cookies while I was working through some anger and disappointment. I took a batch to work with me, and they were gone shortly after lunch. My coworkers lauded my effort and grumbled that I didn’t bring enough. Baking the cookies served a two-fold purpose. I was able to let go of the anger that was trying to crush me, and I created something that my friends enjoyed.