Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bake Sales and Beyond - A Must-Read New York Times Article

"The baking life is one of many sorrows, and I have seen or tasted them all," writes Jennifer Steinhauer in today's New York Times.  Has there ever been a more brilliant story lead? I think not.  (Which is why Jennifer writes for the Times and I write for A Cake Bakes, but I digress.)

The article in the Dining section can be read here and I encourage insist that you start it. (After that, you'll be hooked and read to the end.)  The author -- using humor and insight -- bemoans modern-day bake sales, whose tables are more often laden with store-bought treats than the homemade goodies that gave rise to the practice.  Jennifer highlights the contradiction between the food-obsessed (who eat only local-origin foods in restaurants where even the waiters are grass-fed) and the lack of love (for what is baking if not love) proffered at these old-school fundraising events.  And she is profoundly sympathetic to the non-bakers among us:  "I do not have anything against people who do not bake. The culinary arts, for those with no interest in them, are nothing more than housework," she writes.

Are you hooked yet?  If not on baking, then at least this wonderful story.

Pictured up top is some gingerbread I made last night -- and will write about tomorrow. Come to think of it, gingerbread would be a fine addition to a bake sale table.


  1. I love this article. I have seen a similar effect at classroom parties. When we had to start a new diet for me and my son, everything had to be homemade. His food allergies and sensitivities were so numerous I couldn't find any store bought goodie that met his needs. (The inlaws thought this was child abuse and the denial of store bought stuff was worse than the food allergies.) Fast forward a couple of years and I am surprised at how many compliments I get at his classroom parties on the goodies I bring. While they are made with different ingredients, they are really very simple. But most goodies that are brought are store bought, so I think people are really drawn to the homemade items, gluten-free or not. I also think it makes him feel good that I make homemade treats for his parties.

  2. What a great mom you are, Mrs. Ed! Your son and his classmates are lucky. As for the inlaws....