Biscotti, Baking, and Bitterness

I enjoy baking. There is something magical about just playing in the kitchen, filling the house with enticing (and sometimes not so enticing) aromas. It always amazes me how many different foods you can make with flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Today I am baking biscotti.

I have never baked my own biscotti, but I came across this recipe in an old notebook today. That, and I have been watching one of my favorite TV shows, The Great British Bake Off, and it has inspired me to get back into the kitchen. I want to start actually trying all the recipes I have jotted down in notebooks, put in Pinterest files, and looked at in cookbooks. Rather than just looking at the pictures and saying “OOOOooooo! That looks yummy!”, I want to make the yummy, taste the yumminess!

These are the types of recipes I find in my notebooks. No real instructions. Just something I have jotted down from someone or somewhere. They are often wrong. Notice butter is listed twice? The 2/3 c. butter, I am pretty sure, was meant to be sugar. I went with that today and added in dried cherries and pecans.

I used to cook and bake for a living. I owned and ran my own little diner and small party catering business. I got burnt out because although I love cooking and baking, I really dislike the “business” side of running a business. It is the same with my art pieces. I enjoy creating for creating’s sake. The thought of having to make money or try to entice others to purchase my creations makes me cringe. But that is a rabbit hole I will save for another day.

Today I am baking biscotti because I enjoy eating biscotti and I enjoy baking. I am writing about it because writing is a part of my healing journey. Being honest about why I do what I do, feel what I feel, and like what I like, is an important part of healing from a life lived in programmed trauma response. Allowing myself to do things simply because they bring ME joy is something I am trying to embrace and do more of

The house is filled with the scent of pecans and cherries in a sweet vanilla cookie. Hubby just followed his nose down from his office to inquire, “What are you baking?” followed by, “I don’t know if it is a good thing for you to be home all day. I can’t work with my mouth watering all over my keyboard!” This brought up discouraging feelings I need to explore.

I know that he was just being humorous. He loves it when I bake. But what hits is the “I don’t know if it is a good thing for you to be home all day.” It is because I have been made to feel that what I do only has worth if it is making money. This brings up feelings of bitterness, a deep sadness, and anger in me. Why can’t I do ANYTHING simply because I enjoy it? Why does it all have to be questioned, criticized, and monetized? I can almost guarantee that once the biscotti are finished and he gets to eat them, he is going to comment on how I could sell them.

I know that, to him, this is a great compliment. He was brought up to feel like making money is a persons only worth. So, when he says what I do is worthy of making money, it is a compliment. He is a product of the patriarchal cooperate machine, I get that.

I however was raised as a woman in this patriarchal cooperate machine, in a home where the “woman’s work”, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, taking care of children …. well, pretty much EVERYTHING that has to do with the daily living and caring for a family and home except having a job that brings home a paycheck, was considered to have no value. Therefore the women who did all this had little to no value and were treated as such.

The thing is, I enjoy all the “woman’s work”. I despise having to be a part of the patriarchal cooperate machine. What makes me angry is that women who enjoy these so called “simpler” things are considered simpletons. The time, energy and creativity it takes to run a prosperous home is given no value. You are considered a slacker and a mooch if that is ALL you want to do. Go get a job, make money! That is the anthem of America. I really hate that. It is all so out of balance and out of sync with what my soul yearns for.

Today I can use my voice and remind myself, “Not everything I do has to make money.” I enjoyed baking today, I will enjoy dunking the biscotti in my coffee and eating them. My husband will enjoy eating them as well? There is value in that.

Mmmmmmm…. Biscotti!

Leave a Reply