December 6th, 2010

Reverb Day 6

Another prompt for ReverbWhat was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

Cookies!! I love baking, and I’ve practiced enough to even be mildly good at it. My oatmeal cookies are my own favourite to eat–I’ve changed the recipe a little, timed the baking precisely, etc.–and thus my favourite cookie to bake. They did not sell veryw ell at the bakesale I made them for, but I enjoyed the process, so…

I grew up in a place and with friends who could make a lot of things: they could knit and sew, crochet and quilt, decorate cakes and build bookcases, grow corn and paint their own walls. They’re still my friends, and still wildly talented in all these matters. I on the other hand, once crocheted a scarf, and that’s as far as the needle arts have taken me. Woodworking didn’t even go to that extent. I think in this our division-of-labour, highly specialized world, in order to make something, you have to love the process. Otherwise it’s much easier–and probably even cheaper–to go buy the cookie or the sweater or the birthday cake at a store. It might not be as good as homemade, but then again it might be.

The scarf I crocheted is beautiful–I get a lot of compliments, and encouragement to make more. But I didn’t enjoy doing it, and it took me almost a year to make–I had to focus and concentrate so hard, because it is in my nature to be a terrible crochet-er. I’m not a natural, and more importantly, not an enthusiast–if I’m going to struggle with something, I want it to be my actual work (ie., a story) not something I do for pleasure.

But I like to bake and cook, so even when I try something hard, it doesn’t exactly feel like a struggle–a new recipe is a fun afternoon’s challenge. But I also really enjoy baking simple things, for the ease and joy of doing it and giving them to folks (and eating them). If you need any oatmeal cookies, please let me know!

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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