Saturday, August 8, 2009

eat my words

Everything I love about baking are the same things I love about writing ads.

With food, my audience takes what I've made into their body, and it becomes part of them. The molecules dissolve and enter the bloodstream. The integrate themselves with the body. My work is consumed.

Writing ads, the reader takes my thoughts into their minds. The concepts weave themselves into the mental structure of the reader. It can become an integral part of how they view things. My thoughts are consumed.

Both kinds of work can take a few mere moments to prepare, or can be crafted over a period of time. I need to spend time thinking of who will be consuming my product. What are their likes and dislikes? What are the best things I can put into it.
Baking is like chemistry. You can't just double your recipe in all cases. Your results will vary. You need to have an iunderstanding of the finer principles, but so much also relies on technique, which comes with hours of practise.

The first class for Patissier I was puff pastry. And involved in it was a layer of dough, a block of butter, and the fleshy side of your hand. We needed to learn how to cut the butter into the dough, chopping the butter down with the side of our hands into an even layer inseparable from our dough. It was intimidating. It was ridiculous, as the first time any of us tried it, aside from the instructor, huge knobs of butter would come off, leaving gigantic lumps that would tear the dough or even slip and fly off. It became clear that day that simply having a recipe in front of oneself is not enough. One must generate the muscle memory. And the only way to do that is through physical repetition.