They say procrastinators are some of the most productive people around. It’s a gratifying concept for those of us who tend to put things off. While avoiding tasks that feel burdensome, procrastinators often fill their time doing all kinds of useful, creative things. I have no idea if it would stand up to empirical testing, but if productivity is measured in baked goods, I can offer myself as a happy example of this theory.
I’d rather bake than do just about anything on my fearfully long to-do list. Chocolate chip cookies take priority over laundry and cinnamon buns are clearly more important than a clean floor. Scones are best when a story won’t write itself, and brownies usually come before homework. (To be fair, homework is always easier to do while consuming brownies. Chocolate is brain food. I’m sure of it.)
Flour, butter, sugar, and eggs are the perfect antidote to most forms of stress, and once you’re out of bed, the kitchen is easily the most comforting place in the house.
I always called it avoidance baking, until the week the procrastibaking meme started circling the web. That cheerful chocolate cupcake was posted to my social media page by no fewer than six people ... apparently I have a reputation in addition to a problem. The advantage to this reputation? I can bake my way out of all sorts of situations I’d rather not deal with … people expect to find me in the kitchen, stirring, melting, rolling, and frosting.
Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake is my go-to recipe when nothing short of miracle pastry will do. It’s rich, dark, dense, and promises of Guinness Cake will convince people to do almost anything for you. This is especially helpful when you find yourself in a mad rush to organize an unexpected household move the week before school starts.
I spent a frantic six days sorting and filling boxes, but when moving day rolled around, I was the girl in the kitchen, baking up a cake for the people who came to do the heavy lifting. (It’s also possible I know some really wonderful people.)
In any event, Guinness Cake is definitely the answer in almost every situation. It doesn’t matter what the question might be. Bake it for moving days, birthdays, graduations, or anniversaries. Bake it because it’s Saturday. And by all means, bake it to avoid that thing at the top of your to-do list.
Jeanette lives, writes, and bakes in a quiet little corner of Sandy Hill, Ottawa. Known for the generous distribution of baked goods and the keen precision of her editor’s marks, Jeanette swears by the Oxford English Dictionary and favours semi-sweet chocolate in her brownies.
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