thoughts on bake 20.

since the end of july, i've been on a mission to bake 20 items by the end of the year.  when i first pulled this together, i knew i'd have a hard time finishing this challenge since not only do i not enjoy baking, but we were also moving across the country in october.

in the beginning, i loved this challenge.  i enjoyed looking for different items to bake, making each recipe, and taking photos of the successes and failures.  and yes, there were plenty of failures (since this challenge was about baking, i included the unsuccessful attempts in my count since i've heard, all great bakers have many great failures).  once we moved, this challenge was my nemesis.  finding recipes was the easy part- baking them felt like a chore.  i was working out of two kitchens most of the time (my parents & my in-laws) and in doing so, felt so overwhelmed about not only having the right ingredients, but also having the time to bake, clean up, and take a decent photo.  sometimes, after a recipe was baked, i'd stage a little photo shoot in hopes of getting a decent picture.  sometimes this worked, most of the time however, it didn't.

what i learned: despite my better attempts, i'm still not a baker.  i did find however, that when i put my mind to it & took my time when baking, i'm actually pretty good at it.  and to my surprise, i didn't mind doing it.  now, baking pies and bread are my favorite & these will certainly become regulars in our house from time to time.  also, i learned i love having my own kitchen.  it makes baking so much more enjoyable for me & when i had a kitchen of my own, it was much easier for me to be spontaneous and bake when i had a hankering for a specific good.  i'm certain this had something to do with my disdain for baking during the second half of this challenge.

moving forward: i'm still on the quest to conquer a few great bread recipes and to improve my skills with biscuits, muffins, and cakes.  as i continue to grow over the course of this year, i intend to add upon the knowledge i obtained during this relatively successful challenge.  as much as i didn't enjoy the second half, i'm so glad i took on this commitment & stuck with it.  discovering my inner baker (or not discovering) made, if not for anything else, an interesting experiment.

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