The Forgotten Art of Stress Baking


I am currently sitting at an amazing coffee shop.  The first amazing thing is the collection of vintage couches that makes choosing where to sit feel like a game.  The second amazing thing is the bar taps next to the espresso machine – I appreciate the smooth transition from coffee to beer.

I haven’t worked in a kitchen for at least a month and now I do things like sit in coffee shops.  I feel like a traitor – I am a 9-5er.  Let me clarify that the term “9-5er” is never said in a positive way in professional kitchens – It’s the term for an alien lifestyle, encompassing something both sedated and pedestrian.  Occasionally, it is said through gritted teeth of envy, but either way, 9-5ers are not members of Club Kitchen.

It’s okay; I’m starting my own club.

I have to say that I’d expected to lose more weight as a 9-5er, but I think sitting in front of a computer all day counters the fact that I don’t eat as much cookie dough.  Although I’m not baking as much professionally, I have exciting plans to reclaim my favorite hobby. (I’m not too sure what that means in regard to my dress size equation.)


I used to bake all the time at home – birthdays, holidays, weekends, when I was happy, and especially when I was stressed.  But, for the past five years, baking has been something I do primarily at work.  It’s a little like playing school when you’re a kid – Lining up dolls at a table to administer tests and assign reading homework.   Needless to say, this game loses its luster when you actually have to go to school and take tests yourself.  Recess becomes the new favorite game, even as an adult.

Still, I love baking more than ever before – I have better recipes, a better repertoire and have better understanding to be more creative – but I haven’t been too keen on whipping up a cake after 12 hours of pastry chef-ing.  Plus, now I have an entire collection of molds and equipment that I’d never dreamed of as a home-baker.  Now that I’m a 9-5er, I’m excited to start playing again.  I’m excited to bake some cookies.

The first project – perfecting my canelé!






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3 responses to “The Forgotten Art of Stress Baking

  1. adinapatsy

    Are those knives in your hands as you stand in the Avon lake kitchen? I like the way you describe work as play. Very positive for the Psyche. Love your aprons too!

  2. I’ve always loved your measurement conversion apron the best.

  3. adinapatsy

    Where would a person find a measurement conversion apron?

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