A Baker’s Heart

by: Lauren McMillan


© Lauren McMillan

As I open the fridge, the rising sun’s light dances across my face. Good morning, it says with a soft warmth. Although I squint in the bright light, my lips start to curl into a smile. Ideas begin to bounce through my head. Will today be a morning of pancakes, or is this day better suited to a greater creation? Pie would be made with my aunt’s loving voice in my head, as I go through the motions of piecing together a pie crust then dive into the filling. Then, there’s my trusty cake recipe. What about that recipe I saw on a friend’s site the other day? With a day free of obligations, I let my mind wander.

The kitchen is my home. It’s where my heart opens and my stress evaporates. It’s the place where my gut takes the reins, as I perform age-old rituals and play with my food. Once a recipe (or two [or three {or four}]) is chosen, either by a whim or a wish, I bust open the cupboard doors. Bags and containers of my favourite flours make their way to my scale as my fingers fall into the familiar dance. I pull out the whisk to aerate and watch as the slumped flour takes on a new life. Butter, eggs, chocolate, and whatever the recipe requires is pulled out of the woodwork.

In between throwing in dry ingredients, homogenizing wet ones, and coaxing the two together in just the way a recipe asks, peace washes over me. You see, that’s what I love about all of this. Walking into the kitchen, my heart buoys with joy. Ideas from the furthest corners of my head materialize into something that I can eat. Really, it’s not just about eating it though. It’s about tasting all of the work, excitement and love that went into each bite. Seeing the flavours meld together into a gorgeous gluten-free treat. Now, I won’t lie; not everything turns out. However, embedded in those flops are lessons. The failures make me a better baker, especially as I move on to the next thing.

When it’s all said and done though, biting into that warm-from-the oven treat, I relax into a chair and push all memory of dishes out of my head. With these treats, whatever they may be, you’d never know that they’re gluten-free. When it’s good, it’s good. Simple as that. Plus, when formed with love and comfort it’s always a winner.

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February 03, 2011 | Print This Post | Share & Bookmark | Font Size: a A | 21 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • Kristen
    February 3rd, 2011

    First of all, too funny… my project 365 pic today is of butter :) Great minds.
    Secondly, you are an amazing writer and so wise. Keep up the great work :)

  • Laken
    February 3rd, 2011

    Beautiful writing.

  • Tweets that mention A Baker’s Heart | the kitchen generation -- Topsy.com
    February 3rd, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristen, Lauren . Lauren said: {New at @ktchngeneration } A Baker's Heart http://bit.ly/hzBERe [...]

  • cecedon
    February 3rd, 2011

    lovely, the kitchen is where your heart is! You have created some great things there and it clearly bleeds into all parts of your life. Congratulations on the new web site!

  • Susan Nolte
    February 3rd, 2011

    So beautifully written and a joy to read.

  • The Kitchen Generation — Celiac Teen
    February 3rd, 2011

    [...] add to the fun, today I have my first essay on The Kitchen Generation. A Baker’s Heart. I hope you enjoy [...]

  • Charlie Bakes
    February 3rd, 2011

    Hi Lauren,
    I met you at BlogHerFood 2010, I am the 12 year old blogger who was at the panel about school lunches and cooking with kids.

    I agree with you about walking into a kitchen. It’s like no matter what you create, you know it’s going to be a great experience.



  • Katie
    February 3rd, 2011

    Love your writing! Glad to see collaborations like this in blog land! I look forward to reading on.

  • bobolink
    February 3rd, 2011

    Here from 17 and baking and have already bookmarked you. Good luck. Much happiness in your continued success!

  • Wenderly
    February 3rd, 2011

    So lovely. I *walk* away from reading your post full & happy. Congratulations love!

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom
    February 3rd, 2011

    What a gorgeous site and I’m so thrilled for all of you. I didn’t learn to cook or bake until I was 19. My mother was so busy preparing dinner in a tiny kitchen & managing busy evenings afer working all day so I was never allowed in the kitchen. My first cookbook was “So You’re Hungry & Can’t Cook” and I was so happy when I learned how to make French Toast and an Egg Sandwich. We all start somewhere and you guys are off to a wonderful start. I’m so happy for all of you for inspiring our younger generation.

  • leela
    February 3rd, 2011

    i am so looking forward to this lovely group project — many congrats on the launch. the design is stunning.


  • Jeannie
    February 3rd, 2011


  • Amy I.
    February 4th, 2011

    Your writing makes me swoon. I heart you, friend! Also, this site is incredible, you all rock.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food
    February 4th, 2011

    In just a few short paragraphs, you have captured not just what I love about about baking, but about cooking as a whole. Cooking is my stress-reliever, it’s what I do every day after work. And no matter how tired I am, it’s what I need to decompress… and I’m so thankful to have it in my life.

    Such a wonderful first post. Great job!

  • Heather @Gluten-Free Cat
    February 4th, 2011

    Congratulations on a successful launch of The Kitchen Generation! It’s exciting to see our youthful colleagues so excited about cooking and baking. Look forward to following you all!

  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    February 4th, 2011

    Lauren, I wish I had discovered my passion for writing and cooking at such an early age. Strangely, I was *this* close to going to culinary school but in fact this was not free, as university was back in the day in Australia. SO I went into journalism and ended up quitting that after a year. Had I really followed my heart, who knows where I might have ended up? So pleased to see this site and all of you following your dreams. Can’t wait to see where this takes you!

  • Faith
    February 4th, 2011

    really beautiful – and LOVE the photo!! :)

  • Gloria
    February 4th, 2011

    Love the photos … love the passion… can’t wait for the next installment… keep it coming!!!

  • Tracey
    February 4th, 2011

    Beautiful essay and neat project! I new you’d get that blog award Lauren. Good for you, you deserve it!

  • jess
    February 25th, 2011

    Back when I was a youngun’, blogging wasn’t at all like what it is now:)
    So impressed by your site, but a little jealous too.

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