I used to be that way about movies, except for the growing and eating parts. After slogging away in Hollywood for well over a decade I walked away. It wasn't fun anymore. Instead, I took a chance on following another passion and enrolled in professional cooking classes. A friend I met in one of those courses suggested I take the Pro Baking class. She said the instructor was amazing and thought I would really resonate to her and the class. Sweets aren't really my thing, but I took my new friend's advice and my world changed again.
Baking was challenging, creative, beautiful, sensuous and never the same twice. I was hooked. Baking, or at least the results, made people smile. I wanted to make people smile.
Before I finished school I landed my first baking job. I was up at 3am and baking by 4. I learned a lot and I loved the work. Cramming my life into a day that ended at 8pm so I could get some rest was a little harder. I had a husband and friends and I wasn't in my 20s anymore. I needed sleep and life balance. Eventually I started Fresh from the oven. My recipes, my flavor profiles, my schedule -- baking on my terms. That's where my focus lies.
People say to me all the time, "Well, I like to cook, but I don't bake." I always detect a strange tone in their voice when they say it. Then they'll add, "it's too precise" or "I just don't get it." There's a mystery to baking that really appeals to me. I'm sure it's what draws bull fighters into the ring too. You can study everything you can get your hands on about bulls, or pastry in my case, and you can get a pretty good idea of how bulls behave and what they respond to, but when you step into that ring with that bull it's just you and all you can do is use what you've learned and hope it works. Pastry is the same way. That mystery is one reason I love baking. I like stepping in the ring and seeing if I can tame the bull. Most of the time I can and when I can't...well, it can be ugly! Baking is definitely like bull fighting except nobody has to die. Usually.
So The Baking Life is that, my baking life from cleaning the oven and washing mountains of dishes to finally baking the perfect canelé and everything in between.
If by chance you want to contact me by email send your message to jwfarley (at) thebakinglife (dot) com