It’s been ages since I’ve baked anything, because baking requires a lot of energy, which has been kind of scarce for me lately. But it’s also really important for my mental health to do the things that make me feel like me, and baking is one of those things.
So if you’re interested, I thought I’d share a few hacks for low-energy baking that have worked for me. (P.s. it’s not that it uses fewer spoons, it’s more about taking a longer time so you can regain spoons.)
1. Don’t preheat the oven. Making the dough and shaping them into cookies and baking them can be 2-3 separate projects. Make the dough and then rest for 3 hours or let it chill overnight. Take a break, regain your strength, and then tackle the next part of the project.
2. Small quantities. 😦 I know. Sometimes it’s tempting for me to think, oh! I have energy! I’d better use it! I’m going to make 48 cookies!!! But then that ends up being a way bigger project than I anticipated and also tons of cleanup and it can be overwhelming.
3. Make the batter sitting down. Before you start, put all of the ingredients, mixing bowls, and measuring cups and spoons on the table. Then pull up a chair.
4. Distraction. Or, what I like to call “Mindlessness Meditation.” When I have to do something physically tiring, such as baking, washing dishes, or exercise, I like to put on a TV show to help me get my mind away from how tired my body feels. This absolutely tends to make the work slower, so be aware that it might take more time.
5. Minimize the mess: put a tablecloth down or a piece of newspaper under the surface where you’re making the dough, so instead of wiping down your surfaces you can just toss it in the laundry.
6. Cleanup: If you have one, put absolutely everything you can into the dishwasher. Pans can go in as well. Just watch that one wooden spoon by hand. If you have another person who’s going to be enjoying the cookies, ask them to help with the cleanup. Otherwise, put it aside so it’s not in anyone’s way, and do it tomorrow.