4 Sep 2014

Baking alone or with others? Which do you prefer?

So it has been a while since I last blogged- 10 months to be exact. What with AS levels and a very poor memory, blogging has not been a big priority. But, as part of my grand return, I have decided to start with one of the most debatable topics of the kitchen: tomayto or tomarto? Fine, maybe that isn't the post I had in mind. It's obviously tomarto (here in England at least). The subject I was thinking of is 'Baking alone or with others?' - which do you prefer? We all have our personal preferences when it comes to the kitchen. Some of us take on the role of a dictator (e.g my cousin... and me as well I suppose). Others welcome the help of anyone and everyone, too scared of braving a dreaded recipe alone. But there are pros and cons of both, are there not?

Baking alone:

Although a little lonelier, baking by yourself can be oddly relaxing. Baking alone also means you can turn up the music and jam out as you make delicious cakes or pastries. I am generally a lone baker, mainly because no-one else has the interest. Plus I get incredibly frustrated if someone tries to take over or knows nothing about cooking whatsoever. Although cooking with family is welcomed by many, it's not for me. My brother and dad don't cook often, so I usually have to explain the process and grit my teeth as they somehow manage to burn water. My mum, on the other hand, doesn't like a messy work surface, so I advise her to avoid the kitchen when I'm cooking. You won't believe how bad the mess has been sometimes. To put it simply, I once got cookie dough on the ceiling. That's right. Let's just say I got mad at the dough, and leave it there, shall we?

Baking with friends and family:

Despite my argument against cooking with my family, I have had some enjoyable times in the kitchen with them. If we can settle our differences, then it can be fun. I often cook with my cousin and my gran, dishes ranging from apple cookies to rosemary focaccia. Preparing food out of necessity instead of leisure is usually what causes tension in my household, so when we cook to enjoy, we appreciate each other's company as well. Friends can make just as good companions in 'la cuisine'. Generally, among friends, there is less stress and tension while cooking so roles, both making and tidying, can be divided equally. Just remember that too many cooks spoil the broth, as they say.

All considered, your preferences strongly depend on what type of chef you are and what type of chefs your friends and family are. Because I like to maintain control, I don't often work well with my mum, who also wants control of what we make. My cousin, on the other hand, is a full-on dictator, which is very frustrating, and my brother and dad know so little that it takes longer to make something with their help than without it. My preference in baking solo comes down to my personality and the personalities of those around me. I would happily cook with someone who is willing to share duties equally but when it comes to my family... I'd rather let them eat the food than make it. Below are the pictures from baking with my brother. Take a guess which cakes I piped and which ones he piped. For a perfectionist like me (even though my cakes are always irritatingly messy) this is why I get so stressed cooking with others....

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