I am not a baker, I am a cook. Here is my theory on why.
Some people, by personality, are rule followers. They usually incredibly sweet and they always have nice neat organized houses and they never get speeding tickets and they do their bible study every night and always make their kids' lunches the night before.
Then there are the rest of us. Our houses are always messy - even though we try, we really do - and we have much higher insurance rates than the RFs and we are still repenting of some of the stuff we did in college. Every January 1 we resolve that this will be the year we do Quiet Time every morning. By January 5 we are failures. And as far as bible study - I was a BSF leader, and I crammed my whole lesson the night before every week. If any of you are BSFers, you know that is so illegal I should be in jail, doing hard time homiletics.
Now in my opinion, baking is a science, and cooking is an art. When you bake, you have to follow the directions exactly. No room for improvisation. And no substituting allowed - use baking powder instead of baking soda and you'll have a disaster. Therefore, Rule Followers make great bakers. I had painfully learned by the age of 12 or 13 that baking was not for me.
Cooking is totally different. I view recipes as general outlines, open to my artistic interpretation. I always use about twice the spices it calls for, I substitute with whatever I have in the pantry, a little of this, a little of that - and it usually comes out tasting fantastic.
Knowing that, what I am about to tell you is truly miraculous.
For Maggie's birthday, I decided that, since she is a Christmas baby, it would be a really neat tradition to make gingerbread cake (I am a slave to tradition, by the way.) I found a recipe online for Dark Gingerbread Bundt Cake. I pulled out the bundt pan from my wedding registry - still with the stickers on it, and a little vase inside that Carol had included with it as a tribute to My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a bunt? a bunk?). With a wink and a prayer and a good bit of skepticism, I got busy baking. I followed the rules almost exactly. And you know what? It was good.
Afterwards I submitted a photo of Maggie on her birthday to the website and THEY PUBLISHED IT! Whoo hoo!!
You can see it here.
Cdkitchen.com just has NO idea how happy this made me today! Happy dance!
PS - Some of you, like Martha, are both cooks and bakers...I think you fall into the same category as people who can both write stories and do calculus, eg, my husband. You are very, very special people. And sometimes, you freak me out a little :)