Carrot cake

One of the neat things of having a set work schedule is that I don’t feel guilty for going home and baking.  One of the hardest things for me in graduate school was that I always felt guilty if I spent extra time baking because I could be doing something productive pertaining to grad school instead.  I remember that I only used to stress bake.  One time, I baked 40 mini pumpkin breads in a couple hours to deal with stress.

Lately, I’ve been baking a lot but it hasn’t been due to stress (which is awesome!).  In the past month, I’ve made pineapple upsidedown cake, cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, brownies, and cookies.  I’m probably missing something in there.  There’s something very satisfying about mixing all sorts of ingredients together and ending up with something delicious.

The other day, I made carrot cake for a friend’s birthday at work.

carrotcakeThree layer cake!

Carrot cake holds a place near and dear to my heart.  I couldn’t for the life of me bring myself to make it for years and years on end.  It reminds me of my mom and how I miss her.

The other day, the boyfriend and I walked around the downtown of the small town I live in and went to an antique store.  It was there that I found a copy of this book:


This was a book that brought back so many memories for me.  It was one of those things that I couldn’t have pulled from my mind until I actually saw it.  I don’t remember when my mom got this cookbook when I was little.  I do remember spending countless hours carefully going through each page and reading recipes.  I remember thinking that the gold that edged the pages made it a special, fancy book.  I instantly remembered all of the recipes that were my favorites in that I dreamed about one day getting all of the ingredients and making them myself.  It’s nice to know that I’ve come so far that I can make that a reality.

Making the carrot cake from the book brought back special memories of when my mom used to bake for birthdays and grandparent visits.  As I was putting together the ingredients, I was transported back to the time when I was in a dress, begging my mom to let me lick the mixer things.  She would always tell me that I could have it if I didn’t get any batter in my hair or on my dress.  I think more often than not, I got batter in my hair.  This time, at the ripe age of 24, I managed to not get any batter in my hair or on my clothes.  The floor wasn’t so lucky though.

I had been finding myself shying away from doing things that were related to things I don’t have anymore because it makes me sad.  Specifically, it was the memories and the idea of not having experiences like that again that made me sad.  It’s been a conscious effort for me to not hinder myself in that way.  Making the carrot cake was different for me – I didn’t end up sad; in contrast, I was ridiculously happy with the way the cake turned out. In fact, this was the fastest cake to disappear at work.  It was all gone in under an hour.  I think I’ll chalk this up as a success.  🙂

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