In some ways, this is really not the best time in my life to be joining an online baking club. I have a 6, 3.5 and almost 1 year old. I work out of the home part-time as a lawyer. I spend a lot of time in the car driving people here and there. Life is busy. Life is messy. Do I really want to subject my kitchen to weekly flour spills and batter explosions on top of everything else?
But the truth is, I am a compulsive hobby seeker, and since having kids, I have tended to be drawn to more "domestic" hobbies. So shortly after Elizabeth was born, I decided that I was going to start scrapbooking. I went out and spent several hundreds of dollars on scrapbooking paraphernalia, right down to an eyelet press (which, in case you don't know anything about scrapbooking, is really not the kind of Scrapbooking 101 essential that you need starting out). I stayed up late every night for two or three weeks making very amateur-ish pages, and totally enjoyed it. And then I packed it all up in the fancy scrapbooking case that I purchased during the binge, and have not cropped since. That was about three years ago.
But shortly after that I felt like I needed another creative outlet, so I signed up for beginning sewing at The Smocking Bird. I thought that this definitely sounded like the perfect hobby for me! I would make cute clothes for my kids! I would make beautiful silk draperies with french pleats and dress up store-bought pillows with fringe and tassles! So I went to the class, but always felt like I was operating a step or two behind the rest of the class. I decided that the problem was that I didn't own a sewing machine, and went out and bought a shiny new Janome machine. I even went to the special class that came with my sewing machine, but could never quite figure out how to get the damn thing threaded. So I put my sewing supplies away for a while, but I WILL figure out how to sew someday when I have more time (and private lessons - obviously I need more attention than can be given in a class setting).
So I guess you could say that recently, anyway, my real hobby has been purchasing supplies for potential new hobbies. And it is very true that shopping is the one hobby that I have managed to stick with no matter how crazy life gets.
Yet here I was, still looking for a fun, creative activity, when I started talking to my friend Amanda about this online baking club that she is in, Tuesdays with Dorie, based on Dorie Greenspan's amazing cookbook "Baking: From My Home to Yours." On paper, baking is really the perfect hobby for me. I already love to bake and wish I did more of it. I already have most of the major equipment (the Kitchen Aid, the food processor, the rolling pin, a wide assortment of pans, etc). Yet surely this baking club will provide me with some occasions to buy new tools, which is always important with any hobby that I am considering, given my love of shopping. I can bake with my kids (well, we can do box brownies together -- not sure how they will do with galettes, but they can definitely pour this or that ingredient into a bowl, which is what they really like to do anyway). The fact that club rules require all members to bake twice a month will hold me accountable and keep me baking (because I am a rule follower above all else). And, weekly baking sessions will mesh perfectly with my goal of losing the last 10 pounds of baby weight. Er, okay, maybe not so much on that last one. But in any event, I am up for the challenge! I hope to be up and ready to officially join in on the action in the next week or two!