In Dribs and Drabs

You may contradict me, but this was the most empowering speech at the 2019 Oscars.

These lines…

“I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know…it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”

…were brief but compelling.

This article is not about Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga, whose vocal prowess in her Oscars 2015 Sound of Music performance and her A Star Is Born effortless acting made me admire her, but how her message got across me when I embarked on a new journey this MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine).

I.am.learning.baaaaaakiiiiiiiiingggggg! 
With the virtual guidance of my two very obliging and patient nieces, Christine and Ruth Bernardino, I had my first shot at baking a carrot cake on July 31.
Despite buying the wrong cake pan since the right one was out-of-stock at the nearest mall I went to, it came out whole. Yesss! I excitedly removed it from the tube pan only to have a tug-of-war with the cake. Then, I knew the reason behind it. The cake got tight because of the burnt edge and bottom. My niece told me that the temperature could have been adjusted. Final verdict? It sure tasted like a carrot cake, yet the appearance was beyond recognition. *sniffs*
This failure had me vacillating whether I should again bake another carrot cake to redeem myself. It took me ten days to decide. 
Came August 11, I requested my niece Christine to send another easy recipe which I could try. I postponed redoing Bugs Bunny’s fave cake. Hahaha.
So on Tuesday, I began my never-say-die five-day straight baking exploration. 
 
All of these had still the burnt bottom despite adjusting the temperature.
It was only on August 13 when I was asked where I placed the pan by Ruth. Upon knowing that it’s at the lowest plate of the oven, she advised me to change its location to the middle rack. And I just did this yesterday when I took a respite from my banana loaf bread “obsession.” Hahahaha.
Due to insistent public demand request (*giggles*), I baked my first 24 chocolate cupcakes by following Tin’s shared recipe.
My three “royal” food tasters, my sons, had contrasting critiques afterwards. Shape? Check. Equal quantity? Cross. No burnt edge and bottom? Check. Texture? Cross. Unsuccessfully, I didn’t achieve the soft texture. According to one of the twins, it was bland; something was lacking in its flavor. 

“And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up.”

I could hear Lady Gaga whispering into my ears.

“It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”

So today, I reverted to baking a banana loaf bread with an upgrade. I added peanuts, raisins, and chocolate chips! 
What did I receive this time? A thumb’s-up, a “Good job, Nanay (Mother)!” remark with a backslap, and a tight hug. All of these were from my sons. But what was very gladdening and motivating was to receive this sms from a friend, also the mother of my eldest son’s girlfriend, after sending the other loaf for her husband’s birthday today:
BBF36FB3-7699-492A-B5A1-042BB0E47430

My heart is over the moon for these compliments even if my baking journey has not yet been at full blast. 

“But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion.”

I’ll keep that in mind, Stefanie! Merci beaucoup.

Photo Credit

Bianca Jaen

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