Monday, March 30, 2015

More Than a Mix

The cover of my baking book.      
In my advisory class this quarter, my classmates and I all got assigned the task of creating a passion project. This is when you get to choose a passion of yours, and deepen your understanding in it. My passion was baking and writing, so I put those together and created a baking book!
The core value I demonstrated the most during this process was being a critical thinker. The reason I say this is because of the challenges I had, and how I had to work my way through them to be able to overcome those obstacles. Like I mentioned before, there were some major time constraints, and I had to be a critical thinker and find the best way to work my way around that issue and still be able to write my baking book and continue baking. Furthermore, when improvising during the baking process, I had to think carefully about what I was doing before I actually started to mix the ingredients, as messing up wasn't a thing on my to-do list. Finally, as I said before, finding some ingredients was hard here in Brazil, so I researched alternatives and looked for things that could replace the other baking products. These simple examples already demonstrate why throughout this passion project journey, I was a critical thinker. Next, as in almost everything, there are challenges. In my project, there were a couple, but there were two main ones. The first was probably time constraints. Half way through the time limit, I realised I still had to bake nine things and I hadn’t even gotten ingredients. Because of that, I decided to narrow the baking down to only two recipes per category, meaning I would have to only bake six recipes, and that worked out pretty good. Another challenge I faced was finding ingredients. Most recipes online are from people living in the States or the UK, so some ingredients were hard find in Brazil. Though I found some alternatives and used those instead. In the near future, I want to bake the things I couldn’t bake. As I said, I took out things from the original idea due to time constraints, so now is the time when I can calmly bake and not be worried if it looks bad in the end for the picture. Also, when I bake, I want to be a bit smarter and read through the recipe carefully to know exactly what I should and shouldn’t do.
     Throughout this project, the major area of success was the learning I did. I acquired a lot more knowledge on baking, which I'm really happy about as I can use the new techniques I learned in the future. Firstly, I never really write instructional pieces, so I thought this would be a good chance to do so and improve. To get the correct recipes, what I’d done is look up different versions to make a specific treat, and then I’d pick bits and bobs from the recipes and make it my own. I also tried to improvise a bit to fit my situation and what I like. Then, by filming, I could look back and see what I did and I could easily type up an accurate recipe for the treat. After typing up all the recipes, I noticed different patterns in the writing. For a recipe, you mostly start sentences with commanding verbs, and you try to put in as much information but keep it clear and concise so that the reader knows exactly what do. By having developed this writing skill a lot more, I could use this when I'm, for example, explaining something to someone. They would know the precise thing to do if I use this skill for writing instructional pieces. The second thing I learned throughout this process was more techniques for baking. How long to put something in the oven, the best temperature for cakes, how to layer things correctly, how to know when you should take you cake out, etc. I’m really happy I did learn all these things, as in the future I could use all this new knowledge and use it while baking something. To prove this, I'll direct your attention to a situation when a recipe isn't really good or accurate, but you are baking and you need to know when to take your cake out of the oven. Having the ability to know the simple skills such as being aware how the cake should look like or the colours it should be when you take it out could really save you a burnt cake. These were the two main things I learned when baking and writing my book, and I must say they have and will help me a lot. These are also life-long skills that I acquired, as in the examples explained, I can use both of these skills in the future.

Overall, this passion project was a lot of fun! The baking book I created looked awesome, and I know for sure I'm going to use it a lot.

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