Cooking vs Baking

In my house, I do the lion’s share of the cooking. I can’t say it’s my favorite thing to do, but it’s not so bad. Plus, there are ways to make it less burdensome:

  • It’s batchable. You can make a lot at once without loss of quality.
  • It’s flexible. You can modify almost any recipe to include/exclude ingredients.
  • It’s forgiving. There isn’t much difference between a teaspoon of salt and just eyeballing it.

The thing about cooking, though, is that it has to get done. I can’t just say “I don’t feel like cooking this week.” If I did that, we wouldn’t eat (or we’d have to go out and buy something more expensive and less nutritious).

Baking, which I’ve been trying more often, is completely different. Yes, you’re combining ingredients to make something edible, but that is where the similarities end:

  • It’s not batchable. Most recipes require vigilance and careful timing.
  • It’s not flexible. Baking soda is not a substitute for baking powder. You can’t just leave out the egg.
  • It’s not forgiving. Baking is a science, and the measurements really matter.

Most importantly—baking is not a necessity. No one dies because they didn’t get a slice of cake.

But I still bake from time to time. A lot of other people do as well. And why? Because baking is special. It’s something extra. The end product is, quite literally, a treat. A treat that is almost always shared with others.

This dichotomy is also how I think about creative projects. There are so many things in life that we have to do—like going to work, taking care of children (or pets), exercising, etc. And like cooking, they aren’t necessarily a burden. There is room for creativity and fun. But they must be taken care of. You can’t just take the day off if you’re not feeling it. Then, there are other things—like writing this blog—that aren’t required. That aren’t easily systematized. That require extra time and attention. But those same things can also be the most rewarding—both for you and for the people you share them with.


Each Monday, I share strategies to help you pursue your passions. Try it. You’ll like it.

Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash


Leave a Reply