Not giving up, but getting started for lent

Lent is supposed to be a time for fasting. I’m not Catholic, and I don’t subscribe to the idea of good and bad foods, so giving up something for lent isn’t something I do. But this year I wanted to use the idea of doing something different, challenging myself to do something for a fixed period of time, to achieve something concrete.

I have lots of ideas for projects, but seldom put them into action. I recognise myself as a ‘scanner’, a term the writer Barbara Sher coined, and a quality shared with John Williams, the author of Screw Work, Let’s Play, who organises a monthly Scanners night in London.

I also heard on the twitters that Matt Cutts did a great talk at this year’s TED conference on his 30 day challenges. (The videos from this year’s TED aren’t online yet, so I’m just going by the tweets and blog posts of those who attended). He has written on his blog about these – he challenges himself to do somethig new for 30 days, and tries a new thing each month.

I went to my first Scanners night this week, and inspired by that, Lent and Matt Cutts, I’m going to try a new project on the blog until Easter.

Starting with this diagram that I drew a few weeks ago, I want to see if you can teach people to bake with a series of connected steps, each one building on the last. Explaining this at Scanners night, someone asked ‘well, I know how to make a stir-fry, but how does that help me to connect with anything on the diagram?’ That made me ask myself, where would you start if you had never baked before? If you’re happy making a stir fry, how do you take those skills to help you get started baking?

So that’s the challenge: can you go from making a stir fry to making a cake? Can I link the skills and knowledge you need to take you from one to the next? And can I do it in just 10 steps?

I’m going to see if I can cover all 10 steps on the blog before Easter, as well as putting together some of the ideas and resources on a separate site.

I hope it will challenge me to blog more, to write more, and to think about some of these baking challenges a bit more deeply. I hope you will follow this project, and that even if you’re an experienced baker, you will find something new to try.

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louise-marston

I’m Louise, and I’m a compulsive baker, cookbook hoarder and a bit of a food geek. I learnt to cook at home, and later at Tante Marie’s cooking school in San Francisco. With a science degree and a background in IT analysis, I like to understand why a recipe works, not just how to do it. Why the rules are there and when they can be broken.

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