I love to bake and look forward to any opportunity to do so. Let’s not confuse this with cooking, since the two are quite different and when it comes to the latter I honestly could burn water. However, something about baking intrigues me, and I look forward to learning more about it. The latest lesson had my son and I howling with laughter, in of all places the bathroom.

My mother, Millie Pete, taught me how to bake. She was a woman who could do it all, but I think she was a better baker than a cook. She allowed me to help her with cakes and cookies, and eventually, I was able to pull off these delicacies on my own. Millie Pete even introduced me and my best friend to chocolate chip pancakes, a breakfast item that still makes me think of her wherever I see it.

When heading to college, I left baking behind. It wasn’t until my son was born some 22 years later that I considered taking back out the mixing bowls. The reason was my mother had always baked my birthday cake, and I found I wanted to continue that tradition. This new motivation to bake evolved into an excitement to try new things and hold parties with such offerings. This past holiday I hosted a Boxing Day Bake during which friends came over the day after Christmas to many baked goods I had prepared during the holiday. Soon after my son’s perusal through Youtube videos led to people creating artistic pancakes on a table top griddle … and I was all in.

As many of you know Mr. Carter is currently a big fan of PacMan. Yes, the yellow pie-shaped phenomena of the ’80s is his new passion, so I was very excited to order the aforementioned griddle. It came with several squeeze bottles to control your surface art, so once I mixed the batter I divided it among the bottles along with yellow, black, and red food coloring in each. I used the black batter to outline PacMan, some pellets, and Blinky the red ghost while Mr. Carter filled in the color. We enjoyed our makings, ate some great pancakes, and thought nothing more about it.

Later that night my son asked for help in the bathroom since certain activities there require a mom’s help. As he stood to pull up his pants I began to laugh. He turned to see what I was laughing at and began to crack up himself. I never thought about the effect that much food coloring would have on the digestive system and that the digestive system would want to get rid of it, but upon seeing something as green as a St. Patrick’s Day shamrock laying before us, I understood some warning should be given to those who we feed similar pancakes.

That’s what baking for me is all about, the experiences to bring people together. Someone may love the smell of the kitchen, someone may love the taste of what you made, someone may hate the thing you made but is willing to help you make it better, or you can simply make a little boy laugh about poop.

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