The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


An unusual means of stress relief

Baking provides a fun, tasty way to cool off after a long day

My hobby is not common among 20-year-old women.

After I study, stress out at the campus newspaper and rush to finish an essay, I find comfort in sifting, mixing and baking. My Kitchen Aid mixer is my favorite “toy” in my apartment. Besides the interviews scribbled in my reporter’s notebook are lists of ingredients for recipes.

To get started, I sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder—watching each one thin out into a delicate snowfall. My left hand will hurt from bumping my oversized shifter against it, but the lump-free batter will be worth it.

Next, I use my favorite tool—my candy apple red Kitchen Aid mixer—to beat eggs and butter, two incredible ingredients. I’m sure Julia Child would agree with me: You can never have too much butter. To cite two disparate examples: cream spinach, 4-6 tablespoons; cookies, 2 sticks; it makes everything better (Well, that and salt).

If making a cake, I separate the eggs. I had to teach my 21-year-old boyfriend how to do this. So I can’t help but wonder, how many other people my age don’t know something as simple as how to separate an egg—or even what it means. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if someone guessed it was separating the egg from its shell. Or the egg from the chicken.

I don’t remember when I learned to separate the egg yolk from the egg white—I think it was sometime before I was able to see above the countertop of my mother’s kitchen.
Adding the flour mixture to the mixing bowl is a process to be done gradually. When I was younger, my mom would be the one slowly easing it into the bowl as I kept her Kitchen Aid mixer stirring.

(I once stuck the wooden spoon in while the whisk went around on medium. I’ll just say: don’t do that.)

I’m patient enough to peel a potato with a knife, teach my dog to sit and to wait the couple of days before spring break with patience. But to wait for something to bake? I can’t stand it. Once the toothpick comes out of the cake clean, I’m happy. Cooling is another waiting process, but at least making the icing takes up this time.

I’m the best chopper I know, but the first time I chopped chocolate, my hands hurt for the rest of the day. I thought I should take each chocolate chip—3/4 of an inch in size—and chop it up separately. This can take a while for six ounces of chopped chocolate.

Now it takes me no longer than 10 minutes to fill a large saucepan with finely chopped bits of glutinous temptation. I take my knife side to side while swiftly chopping the chocolate: the noise drives my dog crazy, but the sweet chocolate falls to fine flakes for easy melting.

I get to use my red mixer again—I truly do get excited for each use. More butter, some sifted salt, vanilla extract and this time cream cheese will go in. The whole package will go in there; it’s not too much, I assure you. Once thoroughly mixed, the fluffy substance will only be missing the chocolate.

The icing will be done long before the cake will be cool enough to ice. More waiting. By this time, patience is easier, as I know I’m close to impressing anyone who’s lucky enough to get a taste.

I understand that my passion was more common among women in the 1950s. Along with wearing skirts at our waistlines and the retro décor, cooking has been lost for many women. But it doesn’t need to be.

College students will complain that they don’t have the time to cook. I understand not having the time to learn to cook, but even then, you can squeeze it into your schedule—you don’t have to spend a year in France pursuing the perfection of pastry.

I will, however, argue that a student has time to cook. If you’re not cooking, it’s because you simply don’t want to. I’ve gotten home from putting the newspaper together at 10:30 p.m. and quickly prepared grilled chicken and creamed spinach. It’s possible. And tasty. And healthier than a fast-food taco.

Perhaps it’s my early exposure to the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a boyfriend who will politely eat anything I cook or bake. Whatever it is, I’ll continue to do it, no matter how busy I get.

Taylor Adams is a junior journalism major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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