The world has been filled with troubles over the past several days and I have been posting recipes about honey-sweetened goodies I’ve been baking. Lest you think I am a complete out-to-lunch idiot who never reads the news or watches a television newscast, let me just say that baking is my stress-reliever. When I hear stories of the violence in the Gaza Strip or a passenger plane shot down by pro-Russian rebels, my first reaction is to get down a cookbook, thumb through its pages until I see a picture of a cookie, cake or pie that looks tasty, and then head over to the drawer where I keep my aprons.
I don’t know why I’ve developed this coping mechanism. Maybe it’s the fact that I can control the cooking project that I am undertaking. I can measure out exactly 1 ½ cups of flour, 1 ½ cup oatmeal, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup of honey and a cup of raisins or cranberries or bananas and after mixing it all up, I’m going to have a perfect cookie or cake to show for it. Maybe it’s the smile on my husband Ray’s face when he comes in to see what I’ve whipped up or that satisfied look he gets after he’s taken a bite. Maybe it’s the sense of pleasure I feel when I taste my cookie or piece of cake and the flavors are so nicely blended together. I’m not sure, but I do know I feel better.
That is not how I feel when I hear all of this bad news from around the world. Hearing about violence, pain, and suffering leaves me walking around with a heavy heart and mind, no matter how many prayers I might offer up.
So, my reflex is to create something new and delectable that will bring a little measure of happiness.
Not very complicated – nothing like these world events that have layer upon layer of historical complications that serve as the motivator for more human suffering. My only goal is to bring a bit of comfort into the world, however small. I cannot fix the problems in the Middle East or in Russia or even here in the United States. I can make a cookie or cake that will brighten the face of my husband, my children or my students. It’s not much, but it is the best that I can do in my small way, in my small world.
My other offering is my prayer: For peace, compassion and understanding for all people and their leaders in our world.
Here’s to baking and to hope for a peaceful world.