I love baking. I’ve always loved it. I started when I was maybe 9 or 10 and got it in my head that I wanted to make a pie. I didn’t even like pie but I wanted one. I told my step-mom, thinking she’d get me a Hostess pie or something, and instead we bought all the ingredients to make an apple pie from scratch. That was a new word to me. Scratch. I had no idea what it meant. She was very apprehensive about the whole thing; having never made a pie, I had no idea how difficult people thought it was, so I just went ahead and did it. I don’t remember if she told me how nervous she was – I don’t think she did. It didn’t matter. The pie turned out just fine. I can’t remember if it was perfect, I don’t remember how it looked (I wish I had a picture) or tasted, but if you ask my step-mom about it, she’ll tell you about how I wanted to make a pie and she was sure it would be a horrible disappointment and it turned out perfectly the very first time. I’ve never been afraid of baking since then. I’ve made some pretty dismal things – you have to if you want to try hard stuff. But I’ve always been pretty sure that whatever I tried would work out. And if it didn’t, I’ve always blamed the recipe and the equipment, not my lack of skill. It’s the one area of my life where I have supreme confidence. Even when I see other people doing it better than I do it, I’m still not intimidated. I just assume they’ve had more practice and better tools. I’m trying these days to bring that into all arenas of my life. I was talking to my husband about it the other day, sort of wondering aloud why I felt I could do this one thing so well and keep going, even when I get discouraged – what made me know it was going to be fine and see it through to the end. He pointed out that there was cake at the end, and that I really like cake. He would have to go an make it all real simple, wouldn’t he?