I hate baking.
I really do. I find it somehow unsatisfactory. You throw a whole heap of ingredients into a bowl, mix them together, and then either dump the mass into a baking pan of some sort or heap them into little lumps and stick them in the oven. Sometimes you even get to put things in the fridge to become a little more solid, or in a warm corner to rise, ooh la la.
See? Batter. How boring.
But that's it. There's no room for futzing, no room for tinkering and adding an inspirational last-minute ingredient just to see how it'll work out, correcting for it when it doesn't. No, you get none of that fun. You're supposed to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and fifteen, and just hope that it turns out okay because otherwise, you've wasted a whole bunch of time and ingredients.
I think that my problem with baking is that there's very little skill involved. Anyone can bake. It's not that special. I made my first pie crust at the age of 10, and wondered what all the stupid fuss was about, and haven't stopped wondering.
However, even though I find it a bland activity, I still bake. People like baked goods, and they're easy contributions to potlucks - generally fail-safe (unless you experiment) and crowd-pleasing. So for a dinner at my professor's house over the weekend, I made this rather pretty quadruple chocolate cake from Nigella Lawson's Feast. There's unsweetened cocoa in the cake itself, chocolate chips in the batter as well, a chocolate glaze poured over the cake that was given time to soak in, and chocolate shavings scattered atop. I have to say that it was rather good, if I do say so myself.
It does look nice in the end. It's just.. baking. Bleh.
By the way, our professor read us poetry he'd written himself (presumably about his wife, as it was entitled "My Love") that included phrases like "orgy", "climax", "passion of my loins", "crescendos of waves", etcetc. I kid you not. This guy is a weird amalgam of PhD in economics/totally serious researcher/big wig in the field of youth development and weird artsy type where he reads POEMS HE HAS WRITTEN ABOUT HAVING SEX ON THE BEACH. I am heretofore traumatised and I don't think I'll ever be able to look him in the eye again. Good thing we only have two classes left. I might have to reconsider working with him this summer.