In some ways this month has taught me more than the last month, and more than I expected. I am getting into the groove of this project and really getting to grips with some of my ‘I can’ts’ in life, of which baking was one for some reason. I have always been better with cooking and ignored baking. Maybe that was because cooking was required for life. You need to cook to eat your daily meal where as baking is something that isn’t always required. The bread will still be in the supermarket and who really eats a cake for supper? Cooking is a necessity, baking isn’t.
Another thing that I have realised is that while I think focusing on feeding myself up for my journey was important this time, and I have gained new skills and new confidence in my abilities and reassessed myself as a baker, if I were to do this again, I wouldn’t include the food portions. Or maybe at least not two straight month all about creating food. I found it hard to keep the momentum.
So what were my key learning points for this month. Some were specifically about baking while others are more general information about myself.
- Baking can be simple.
- And simple baking is sometimes the best – see the reaction to the cookies.
- I may never achieve light and fluffy baked goods and judging by the experience of other American expats, I think that is because the flour is so different.
- UK versions of American baked good recipes are on the internet if you just look for them.
- I may never get that ‘taste of home’ in the UK – see no real hash browns or tater tots for a tater tot hot dish.
- I still don’t know why I was afraid of baking and why I thought it was so complicated. I think it was because it is different here in the UK and it came easier in the US.
- I am still overly optimistic with my time. My motivation always comes in waves with some days being ridiculously productive and others not so much. I always plan for my high motivation days, not my low ones. I need to watch for that.
- Sleep, weight management, exercise and eating habits all have a bigger impact on my energy levels than they did previously. I need to get plenty of sleep. I need to manage my weight. I need to get moving more. And I need to watch what I eat just a bit more carefully.
- Life is about the simple pleasures. I need to enjoy the fleeting time and the little joys those bring.
- I am my own hero. No one else can fill that role for me.
- Observation: Not everyone seems to enjoy their lives or know how to. Some always seem to be stuck in survival mode. I don’t want to be one of those.