There was once upon a time when a week wouldn’t pass by without a day when my apartment wouldn’t be perfumed by the fragrance of baked goods, usually sweet, but sometimes savory.

What had possessed me to suddenly become inspired to bake, regardless of the time? (And there were some nights when the first aluminum trayful of batter would go in no earlier than midnight.)

Sometimes it was the craving for something sweet, and other times it was for some upcoming special occasion, but I think mostly it was out of sheer and utter boredom. I baked to eat, to please, and to keep the blues away. And I was a baking machine then, it both being a blessing and curse that I had all this time on my hands. I fed myself, and heck! I fed the whole neighborhood! (No joke, I often carried containers of freshly baked something-or-others 5 blocks from my apartment to my parents’ place, making drop-offs at stores along the way, the ones whose owners I was familiar with.) They looked forward to (unless they’d all been lying through gritted teeth and choked back disgust) the cakes, the cookies, the brownies, the cupcakes, and breads, and expected me there at least one day out of the week, ready to present a snack or that day’s lunch. And in return, I didn’t feel so bad when they’d return the favor with free alterations on a new Alexander Wang dress that would unsurprisingly need to be let out, or a gratis mani/pedi.

Chocolate and Matcha Swirl Cupcakes

Cinnamon Rolls

Gruyere Gougeres (which I delivered via bike to Prospect Park for a bbq gathering with friends)

my proudest moment: Red Velvet Cake topped with Mixed Berries (for my parents’ wedding anniversary)

And there were more! The scones, the focaccia, the cornbread… but these days? Since the last baking experiment (compost cookies), there’s been nothing. Getting out of work at 7:30pm every day and not making it home until 8pm leaves little time to whip up a creative dinner, let alone the energy and appetite for dessert after. These days, it’s been black sesame creme brulee at Sakagura, cherry and balsamic panna cotta at Emporio, ice cream cake at ABC Kitchen, and hey! Absolutely no complaints there, I’ve been very lucky to have these wonderful meals out, but man do I miss the baking experiments. When else would I get these awesome Oven Battle Scars?!