I recently decided that I was going to become a person who bakes. The problem is that I’m a horrible baker. But once I decided to start baking, naturally, I jumped into it with both feet and totally over-committed myself to bringing baking to every event I attend.
The reason for my bad baking is twofold. First, when I was in college I had a really bad habit of trying to health-ify my baking. The results usually tasted fine, but the texture was always off and really crumbly. I just really like experimenting and don’t like doing what anyone tells me to do…especially know-it-all recipes.
The second reason is a lack of baking equipment. Many people get a lot of that sort of stuff as bridal shower gifts, but aside from some really nice mixing bowls, I did not receive any baking equipment, and due to my poor baking skills, I didn’t want to invest any money into something I was sure I would never be good at.
So, the only baking I was doing was for Kids’ Club, which didn’t stress me out since kids don’t care if the cookies aren’t great as long as there are chocolate chips. Then my husband and I joined a small group Bible study where everyone took turns bringing a snack. Not a big deal as it is a group of people I know well, and if my dessert was to turn out badly I could just bring some tortilla chips and salsa. Next was moms’ group. This one I did not want to do, but everyone else was volunteering to be on the snack schedule, so I felt that I had to. And finally, the most intimidating of all…the Sunday morning coffee snack for our church. With my inconsistent baking results, I was so nervous the first time I was on coffee duty. (It didn’t help that I baked the cookies the day before and the muffins the morning of.)
Anyway, people ate my food, and I realized I just need to get over myself. I’m not doing this for compliments, I’m doing it to contribute to my community and to improve a skill. So whatever it is that you are thinking about trying, or are nervous about sharing with others, I want to encourage you to do it. Perfection is not required, just persistence, a willingness to learn, and sometimes having to swallow your pride when things don’t turn out.
Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.