Like many of you, I set out at the start of 2020 with big goals. My husband and I were ready to make 2020 the “year of us.” At the time we didn’t realize how accurate we were. We have certainly had a year of us, just not quite the way we imagined it. There were hopes of baking regularly (and writing about it), running a sub-two hour half marathon, and traveling to Ireland. Unfortunately, Covid got in the way. Travel plans evaporated and a lot of my motivation went up in smoke.
Being stuck at home didn’t bode well for my baking goals. I didn’t need to be eating all of the creations I had in mind without anyone to share them with. Plans changed quickly and we adapted to life at home. So, one (ongoing) pandemic and pregnancy later…here we are. A fresh start, new found motivation, and a mountain of ideas.
A good friend helped to spark this motivation a little over a month ago. Having shared some baked goods with her in the past, she reached out to see if I would be interested in baking a cake for her son’s birthday. And if I could, would I be able to include macarons?
French macarons are notoriously finicky. I had attempted them once in the past and failed spectacularly. But, this was a new year, so why not? I did request a trial weekend before committing to the cake, taking two days to make two batches of these delicate cookies and hoping for the best. With varying degrees of success, I was (somewhat) confident I could produce enough on par macarons that could decorate this cake.
With fingers crossed, I was able to make just enough macarons to decorate this vanilla tiered cake with a vanilla custard filling and vanilla buttercream. Outside a handful of cupcakes for some coworkers, it had been a while since I had felt the sense of satisfaction that comes with a completed dessert. This was the nudge I needed.
Despite the challenges we have faced in 2020 and continue to face in 2021 – there is hope. Hope that we will see this pandemic through and find balance in this crazy world. Only time will tell what this year has in the works for our growing family. As a new mother there are already so many things to look forward to, but I am excited to see where my baking journey takes me and I hope you’ll follow along for the ride.