I have become overly fond of baking in my adult life. It took me a while to figure out why I liked baking so much and yet avoided cooking real food whenever possible. I figured it out, eventually.
There are two main reasons. Number one: baking involves sugar. I am a sugar addict. (I know that’s an odd thing for a diabetic to say, but it’s true. I don’t know how I’ve managed to re-introduce so much sugar into my diet and still stay within in a normal range but I’m not about to look that gift horse in the mouth!) Sugar is the tastiest substance on the planet and there are not many dinners I know of that utilize it. Garlic? Sure. Salt? Yup. Other various spices that are far more healthy for you? Usually. But sugar? No.
Number two: baking, in general, is done for a much larger group of people. When I make dinner, only I and my boyfriend eat it. Before I moved in with boyfriend I did almost no cooking at all. Why would I want to put so much time and effort into something that only I would eat when I could so easily pop something in the microwave or eat something that takes five minutes of boiling water out of the box? Now that I do live with someone I have developed a rather 1950’s-esque desire to make a healthy home-cooked meal for my man but not so much that my hard-core laziness doesn’t win over that desire pretty frequently.
Why does the large audience matter? For the same reason that you want people to come to your music recital or sports event: praise. Having people ooo and ahh over my tasty treats is one of the greatest pay backs I know of. In fact, I have gone to extremes making baked goods that take hours of rather difficult preparation simply for the satisfaction of having someone take a bite and proclaim its deliciousness. I would never, short of serving an entire party of people, go to extremes making a dinner. Baking is just far more rewarding in that way.
Thus, for my upcoming Halloween party I plan on cooking up a whole variety of viands for my guests to enjoy. I am so into Halloween baking, in fact, that for my birthday I asked for (and received) two Halloween-themed cookbooks. Why? Because the only thing that makes my favorite holiday even better is spending the whole day leading up to it making tasty, sugary, weird and/or creepy-looking deserts whilst listening to Monster Mash repeatedly.
That delightful scene is only a week away and I am purposefully allowing the excitement to get to me in anticipation. Halloween baked goods: it’s what’s for dinner!