IN A COOK’S UNIVERSE, THE BAKER’S REALM IS A MYSTICAL AND DANGEROUS WORLD
Recently, someone asked me what’s the typical number of trials I have to go through before arriving on a satisfying recipe. And to that I said, “Two, I guess? Most likely?”. Well… in all honesty, I didn’t mean to lie. I just forgot to ask, if they were asking the cook? Or the baker?
I’m definitely more cook than a baker. And as a more-cook, relatively speaking, I have a more optimistic repertoire of savoury things where I have demonstrated slightly more competence in not screwing up. But in reality, if I were to take into account of the other side of the fence as well, the wild and parched, the untamed and unpredictable, the land of where the sweet things are… then my friend, I don’t think I have hairs enough to count my failures. In a cook’s universe, the realm of the bakers is a mystical and dangerous world, governed by a whole different set of laws and physics and creatures who look beautifully from afar like a herd of pink unicorns, but once approached, will vaporize into a cloud of black smokes and swallow my expectations in whole. It is scary. And it is real. And it is a place, unless guided by other wizards specializing in this black magic, that I do not like to enter lightly.
But sometimes the universe, especially my universe, is not perfect. Sometimes there’s no precedent, or magic potion to follow for what I wanted to create, or more accurately, re-create. For this instance, a childhood treat that Jason and I practically grew up with and hold dearly in our heart, the caramel flan popsicle (or as they called it in Taiwan, “pudding popsicle”) that we used to be able to buy in almost every convenient stores, but mysteriously vanished in the past decade. And in times like these, I just had to hood up, bid the loved ones farewell, climbed over the fence, into the woods, and hoped that something, anything, would make it back in one piece.
Well, it didn’t.