Do we need an excuse for cake?

I enjoy cooking of all sorts, but I’m especially fond of baking. I’m sure there’s all sorts of psychological analysis I could put here. Things about an underlying thing of buying friendship, and the need to be in constant control. I know there are some deeply unhealthy aspects to it, beyond the whole fat and sugar end.

I always look for reasons to do various things. In college, I’d bust out a batch of mini éclairs just because we were having people over for drinks. I would go on epic baking sprees for parties. I still do. Last month, we had what ended up being a very small party. As usual, I cooked for about 50.

This was one of about three trays of cupcakes I made for Adam to decorate. They were given out free at an ale festival last year. The only purpose was to get people closer to the booth.

There’s always a reason to come up with for making a cake, or cupcakes, 0r cake pops, or cookies. (I haven’t made éclairs in years, though. Once I moved away from my chocolate supplier it just didn’t cut it. And yes, I had a chocolate supplier. It was an amazing restaurant supply shop tucked away in a side street of Chelsea. I miss that place. It was awesome.)

Lately, my excuse has been shows. If Adam has a show opening, or is working at an event, I bust out the cake. There are commercial reasons for it, and they do serve to bring people closer, and there have been sales because people walked in when they saw cupcakes.

This week, there’s another show opening. It’s getting to be an amazing line up, and I’m looking forward to just seeing all the art. And the question is out there… should I do any food for it? Beyond just the basic question of whether it’s worth doing for this show is the slight complication that I’m out of town the night before the show opens.

I honestly don’t know what to do. I want to bake. I enjoy baking. I’ll even admit that I love the praise. I’ve always loved the praise. Being praised for my cooking is right up there with being praised for my writing.

So that part of me, the part that wants to be special for something in a room full of extraordinary work by extremely talented artists, wants to figure out some way of going to London on Friday, getting home in time for a day-long event, and still, somehow, having food ready for the opening at 3:30.

Is that me being selfish? Is it simply attention-seeking rather than being something to actively make the show better? What do I get out of it, long term?

I’ve contemplated things around my baking and cooking. I’d love to figure out a way to do it as a sideline job. It would be cool to cater things other than just Adam’s shows and our own parties. (The only time I was incredibly foolish to attempt the catering of was our own wedding, especially considering all the other things we’d done as a DIY thing, including the production of a zine-type program.)

The problem, of course, is that I don’t know where to even start with such an enterprise. I’m putting all my marketing efforts into the freelance writing stuff, now that I’m able to get back into it in the UK, so I don’t have the time or money to do the same for another small business. I think there’s only so much that can be done by word of mouth, especially when all I’m doing is food for our own things.

None of this answers the urgent question, anyway. I still have to decide whether there’s a benefit to baking a load of bite-sized confections before I go away. What does everyone suggest?

Advertisements