Day 11: Pumpkin Bread is a Food Group

Baking, My 500 Words

I have been watching The Great British Baking Show quite a bit lately, and it has me thinking about cakes and pastries wayyyy more than I should be. Every challenge, I say out loud, “I would eat that right now. I want that!” It hasn’t been good for my bikini bod goals this spring.

There is coffee shop near my apartment that I frequent on weekends pretty often, and a coffee with their pumpkin bread has become a fun ritual for my man friend and I. We have even made our own a few times, not a simple feat given our in-aptitude for high altitude baking.

In any case, I have been thinking a lot about these excellent bakers on the Great British Baking Show and how they have become so good. We have sat on the coach, sipping hot beverages and eating snacks many a night wondering what the prize is for the GBBS winner. So far our research (minimal, admittedly) is NOTHING. These folks are out there cranking out cakes, crying, winning or losing, stressing, and more just for the benefit of being on the show.

Aside from the delectable baked goods and the beautiful emotions that happen on the show, I am consistently surprised by the simplicity of the baking components. Everything is some combination or version of sugar, butter, and flour. It is maddeningly simple that we can create such unique and magnificent baked creations using various proportions of a few core ingredients. Country singer of the 1950’s Harlan Howard is credited with saying that the only thing you need for a good song is “three chords and the truth.” This is certainly true in music, and it seems to be true in baking as well.

While I may be exaggerating the simplicity of a great pastry’s inner workings, I am not simplifying things that much. Sure, you often use eggs and new baking techniques use all kinds of substitutes, but I implore you to have an open mind. Please watch a few episodes of the GBBS and pay attention to what they are each putting into their blender or their dough each week. They set out to create new things and to accomplish new challenges at the direction of the show leaders, but they start off with the same few core ingredients.

This may not shock any of you. This will likely bore all of you. BUT, it is fascinating to me. I tend to live in lala land and visit earth every once in a while, usually when forced. So, to see this very regular, normal, everyday thing in life in a new way has been quite exciting for me. I have the apartment to myself for a few days and am excited to maybe bake some new things free from pressure or expectation. What shall I bake? Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips and frosting? Yeahhh, that is exactly what I was thinking too. How did you know?

Stay tuned until late next week to find out whether I did or did not complete this goal or try something completely different.


Day 4: No Time to Write

My 500 Words

It is day 4/31 of the #My500Words challenge. I am loving the challenge, but I am also tired! Today was a big day that challenged me in some ways regarding this goal. I was very sleepy this morning, very active this afternoon, and very preoccupied with lounging around and eating with my man-friend. This left very little time to care about goals like #My500Words. I kept thinking I would have time and would be wide awake later, once my boyfriend went to sleep and I had burnt out on socializing. Well, now it is 9:00 PM…and I am not excited. Luckily, I have learned something important in this experience.

Do “it” when I can, not when I think I might want to in the future. Plan for my worst self, and get it done as early as possible. Later, I can edit my words before posting, but I don’t have to start from scratch.

In any case, my plans to learn something new about photography and write about it have been completely shattered. I am very excited to lay in bed, read Alexander Hamilton for my Reading Challenge  and drift off to sleep. Nothing else is really acceptable in this moment, BUT I have made a goal and am keeping it. Day 4 requires 500 words on this here page. I promised myself, and, as I learned from Mr. Rogers, the promises you make to yourself are the most important promises to keep. So, I shall continue to plug away my 500 terribly written words.

“What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes? Lots of things, of course, but the main one, I think, is whether we link our wishes to our active work. It may take months or years, but it’s far more likely to happen when we care so much that we’ll work as hard as we can to make it happen. And when we’re working toward the realization of our wishes, some of our greatest strengths come from the encouragement of people who care about us.” –Mr. Rogers

Aside from my poor prioritization, there were some great triumphs of the day. I was greeted upon joining the waking world by hot coffee, poured and ready for me. This was followed shortly by a really excellent breakfast mashup of kale, eggs, and mushrooms. Then, I walked out my front door, like the luckiest gal in the world, and walked 2 minutes to nearest trail head, where I started a 5 or so mile hike in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It was an invigorating morning walk, with a touch of ice and wind to make it interesting. The rest of the day felt like an easy win. I relaxed around the house, ate some Tofu Chili from yesterday, and watched far too many episodes of The Great British Baking Show. After watching too many amazing, glutinous creations come to life, my boyfriend and I made our way to a local Mediterranean restaurant for a few adult beverages and an assortment of vegetables, dips, and breads. Such excellent breads. Have you ever had olive bread before? Like bread with actual olives baked in 😍? I love olives more than I should, but this bread changed my life and also called for this local restaurant to be banned from regular visits. I cannot be trusted there.

Something I can be trusted to do? Write #My500Words when I say I will, at least within the day that I say I will 😳 . I am happy to participate in such an awesome challenge to help me cultivate a daily writing habit, and I think it is safe to say it is starting to work on me!