Have you ever heard the term bad things comes in threes? Well If you haven’t now you have. Honey let me tell you how I had three crazy stressful situations come at me and how I stressed baked my way through each one.
Some time ago I talked about how dessert can make celebratory moments great and hard moments bearable.
Well in the last two weeks I have had some stressful moments. Moments that normally lead me to worry and fret, then I’d call my friends to share my worrying and fretting and then they would worry and fret with me, I would talk to my husband, he’d give his thoughts and then I would ponder what he said, then go worry and fret while pondering what my husband said. This would go on for a few days and then one day the clouds of worry and fret would clear away making way for solutions. Then I would be okay.
However, now as a baker, when fret and worry overcome me instead of calling my friends, I bake. And let me tell you, I get to clarity a lot quicker eating a fresh baked cookie than calling my friends and sharing my worries. And They prefer I share cookies. Me too.
Which is why when my boss said she was leaving to take a fab new job just four months after her boss said she was leaving her position, I went straight to the kitchen.
Before I tell you how baking helped me through this, let me explain why it freaked me out for moment.
I took the job I had currently because at my previous job, my boss’s boss was leaving. As my bosses boss was the President of the organization and my boss a VP, I knew the next administration would come in and sweep the house. Which in fact did happen when I left. So this job was my escape from that possibility. Yet, here I am a year later in the same position. Literally a year later. I am here again. Was I going to have to leave again? If so where was I going? If I stay will my job be safe. Should I just say forget this and start my own thing? Just a thousand things rolling through my mind.
I needed to bring some calm to it so I could think straight and get some clarity on next steps. While calling people can be helpful, it is best to do it with a calm spirit not a worried, fearful one. And baking can help you do that.
According to the delish.com article “Baking Is The Best Way To Alleviate Stress – Yes, Really” Stress baking, anxiety baking, or procrastibaking is a natural coping mechanism used by people to deal with a situation that is beyond their control. No I know there there are many ways to deal with stress like excercising or reading a book or calling all your friends and freaking them all out, however baking offers several unique aspects of destressing
- It is calming – mixing, stirring and licking helps to slow breathing and relax the body
- It is thinking free – you just follow the recipe and you will get a finished product – you don’t have to figure out anything which frees your mind from problem solving and
- It creates a finished product that is guaranteed to be delicious and can be shared with others.
This feeling of accomplishment releases endorphins and gives you good vibes all the way around. Baking helps you take your mind off what you can’t do and redirects it towards something you can do. The break your mind receives opens it up to receive solutions that may have been missed with an anxious mind. Now, I know there will be situations that baking cannot solve but its better to cry over your spilt milk with a cookie than just nothing. Im just saying.
So to handle this stress ful situation I took homemade cookie dough and stuffed them with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies.
How did I do that you wonder?
Well using a recipe from Spoon University for Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Thin Mints , I made homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie dough and literally stuffed the Thin Mint into the cookie.
Now hearing me say it like that does not sound like distressing. So let me walk you through the steps as I experienced them.
As I gathered ingrediates, the measuring spoons and mixing bowls, my mind slowly moved from fret about my boss leaving to making sure I had everything I needed to start. I focused on the mesuring and mixing.
Then I started dropping tablespoons of dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. I then topped each dwolp of dough with a Thin Mint cookie and then topped it with another generous dwlop of dough. It looked yummy even unbaked. And I felt completly relaxed.
Now as I shared that with you, didnt you feel relaxed too?
13 minutes later I pulled those fresh cookies out from the oven to cool. They were humongous. And I, smiling with glee, I gave them seconds to cool, then grab several cookies and a glass of milk.
As I bit into the chocolatey cookie with the signature Thin Mint cookie coming through each bite I reminded myself that just two years before I announced to my staff that I was leaving and instead of showing fear and trepidation they showered me with blessings and gifts. I needed to do the same. I took about half dozen of the cookies, put them in a cookie tin and had them placed in my bosses office when I went to work. Disaster averted. All was right with the world for three days. And then this happened
You know a lot can happen in three days. You can take a cruise to the Bahamas. You can plot a plan to break your wife out of jail and leave the Country like in the movie The Next Three Days. A saviour can rise from the grave like Jesus did – all in three days.
You can also find yourself suddenly having to spend thousands of dollars to keep your sanity. Which is what I was facing when my son’s car broke down out of town.
A college student, he has been driving our old car for a few years. It was just a matter of time before it would finally bite the dust. I was just hoping for a few more years more like when he graduated and could buy his own car.
Three days after my boss’s announcement I had to go get my son from out of town and buy a new car. This calls for extreme dessert making.
With time being short and having do this out of town in the kitchen of my daughters apartment which is in the same city – thank god – I went to a family favorite – The Dole Whip!
If you have never had the Dole Whip at Disney World, you have not lived. If you dont plan on going anytime soon, no worries. This recipe by Bellyfull will get you pretty close. It is the simplest dessert to make and it will make your family go ga ga – it’s just pineapple juice blended with vanilla ice cream and frozen pineapple. That’s it. Nothing more and it’s awesome.
After a satisfying helping of the whip, I chose to reframe the car situation. I wasnt buying a car. I was investing in my son’s future and my sanity. A good running car will do that. Besides, I told him hes got two years to finish school because hes taking over the payments. Boom! Thank you Dole Whip for clarity.
The next day as we began looking for cars I baked, again. Car shopping is stressful. The dessert of choice for car hunting – Katherine Hepburn brownies. Recommended to me by my cooking friends of the NYT Cooking community, these chocolate gooey nutty brownies were just what I needed.
Again it’s super easy – eggs, flour, sugar, coco, vanilla and pecans. Whip all together, pour in baking dish, bake and viola – a batch of stress relieving deliciousness at your door.
With each bite I exhaled. By brownie number two, I told my son how much we would pay and for how long. It was his job to find the car. And I walked away to eat another brownie.
By the next day, we were signing paperwork for his new to him car.
Now if you are listening to this and now know that this is the stress solution that can work for you. Then my mission for today has been accomplished. If not, at least you got a few good chuckles in.
Now how did I find these stress reliving recipes – one I googled stress baking recipes – there are tons of suggestions online – I also reached out to my FB friends of the NYT cooking community – whether you are starting your cooking journery or are a veteran I suggest you join a cooking community on social media. They can help you through crazy cooking situations. I turn to my communities a lot.
Well that’s it for another What’s For Dessert.