I did a lot of baking during the months of November and December. My favorite classes were family-oriented.
In November, I made pumpkin loaf bread with a few moms and their daughters. I will probably remember this class forever. By accident, I left out 2-cups of flour in the written directions, and in the verbal steps of making the bread. Grrr! This frustrated me to no end. One of the moms messaged me after class to say, "Something went wrong. My loaf came out of the oven looking fine, but it has sunk. Maybe it's that my baking powder is old." I checked on my loaf, cooling on the counter, and it too had sunken. I looked at the recipe and knew right away that I had made a mistake. I messaged the class participants and apologized. They were kind and forgiving, just like any mom would be.
Nothing brings me more joy than seeing families bake together. In December, I offered a class to make cinnamon biscuit rolls. I had 4 cousins working together and another family with a seven-year-old, her mom, and aunt. They all worked together to create the dough and the rolls. The seven-year old kept finishing much faster than I would have expected. I asked if she had anyone helping her in the kitchen. She said, "Oh yeah, my mom and aunt are here, they're not on screen." "So cool," said a voice in my head, "that they are all baking together! I bet they'll remember this day for many years."
My own kids (young adults, really), were here for a few weeks in December, and they joined in on a few of my classes. Naturally they participated on the day we made chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and chocolate bark. They took my leftover candy and spread it all over the kitchen table, ready to concoct some crazy chocolate combinations. I led the class and let my own kids go wild with the chocolate. And wild they went. They melted a ridiculous amount of chocolate. There was chocolate everywhere. I didn't even realize how much chocolate was out until after the class. A former version of me would have been stressed to have so much mess in the kitchen (especially if I didn't make it). But, my priorities have changed. This was the first time my whole family had been together in our house. We moved here a year and a half ago, and much of that time has been during COVID. Honestly, I was thrilled to be sharing this time and space with my kids. I was so happy to have them home, and even happier to share my baking time with them, messy kitchen and all.
Even though the holidays have passed, I hope you'll take some time to join your families (in-person or virtually) and bake together in the kitchen. I guarantee it will be time well spent.