Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Baking has always been something I love doing, growing up my younger sister would ask me almost every time to be a part of it . Well, eventually I had to be the one to ask her to join me.
My sister Belu and I would do everything together, and baking was no exception. I would get all excited about a recipe I wanted to try out and Belu would get really excited to taste it, who wouldn't? I would read out loud all the ingredients and she would start gathering them.
My sisters favorite part was to ask me "what can I help you with?" And myself, being the older sibling, would suggest "you can butter and flour the pan for me"
The first few times she did it, not complaining at all, after all we were both learning how to bake together. She would measure out the ingredients, prepare the pan for baking, set the oven and become my favorite sous-chef. But after a few recipes she would find herself bored with the same tasks and would not join me, so I would have to ask her to help me.
That's when she would start working on her negotiating skills at an early age. She would say, "fine, I will help you, but I won't butter and flour the pan, and you will have to let me help with something that's more critical to the recipe's outcome"
If you know me, my mom and well my grandma, you would understand that letting go of control even by the slightest in our kitchen is a BIG problem, so this was a HUGE ask. However, it meant that I would get to spend time with her and we would get to bake together again. So I would give in, and sometimes, fine, ALL the times (control issues) I would ever so slightly push back on her requests. We ended up with some hurdles like teaching my sister to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, hunting down the batter for pieces of eggshells. We would still manage to get the bake done in a slightly slower, maybe less efficient, however tremendously eventful fashion.
Say what you want, but she is THE best at buttering and flouring the pans, she would get into every corner of that pan and shake any bit of flour excess making for the best possible baking outcome. Every time I set myself on a new baking adventure and I find myself buttering and flouring the pan, memories come flooding down of the times when I got to bake with my sister, and I have to say I miss it. I miss her tremendous amount of help, having a mise en place ready to go when you want to bake is HUGE. But most importantly, I miss baking alongside someone who would get excited with every step, she was my cheerleader, the first one to go "no big deal" when something would go wrong, the first one to look at me and laugh uncontrollably when something was bad.
Life has happened and we find ourselves living in different countries, however having had the chance to build those memories makes me feel a little bit closer to her every time I bake.