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Hand-in-hand: Gardening and Baking

What does it mean to be creative? Author Fran Sorin explored that question in her inspiring book "Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening." But what about unearthing your creative roots through baking? Or taking the principles of gardening and applying them to baking? In this post, we take a look at what one can teach us about the other and how we can be creative in the kitchen.

Use your senses. Sorin suggests spending time in the great outdoors and touching tree bark. In our case, that translates to inhaling the scent of fresh ingredients and finding inspiration within the confines of your own kitchen. (Hint: Make your kitchen a peaceful haven and fill it with tools and ingredients that you love.)

Enjoy the moment. This point goes hand-in-hand with the preceding one. Let your kitchen and the act of baking transport you. Turn on soothing music and light a candle before you begin. Don’t think about your to-do list or the stress in your life; focus instead on the act of mixing, whisking, and frosting (much as gardeners focus on plunging their hands into the fresh earth).

Experiment. Use your imagination. There’s no need to limit yourself. Break away from tried-and-true recipes and practices, and be open to change. Be playful in the kitchen, and invite your kids, spouse and others to come and bake with you.

Share with others. Spread the love by baking for friends, neighbors and colleagues. Or get involved in a volunteer organization or community outreach that allows you to put your baking talents to use. You’ll feel even better about your finished products knowing they are bringing joy to others (and their taste buds).