There is something about baking that does good things for me.
I am not a good enough baker that I can bake without following a recipe. I enjoy the process of looking through my books, or searching for a recipe online. I choose cookies, or muffins or a cake, based mostly on how good the picture looks, and what I already have in my pantry. I will substitute if I don't like or have one of the ingredients. You will never find a raisin, current or any candied fruit in anything I bake, and I am against maraschino cherries on principle. Next I assemble all the ingredients and tools that I will need. It took me years to remember to turn on the oven at this point - baking has finally taught me to think ahead a bit. I enjoy the measuring, the stirring, the kneading. I love the chemistry that makes three separate things (butter, sugar and flour) in to one (cookies). The part I enjoy the least is the cleaning up, but my husband has taught me to do that as I go, which really does make the whole process much simpler. Finally, I love the anticipation of the final product. The smell as it bakes, getting to poke it with a stick to find out if it's done, trusting that even if it looks a little funky, it will taste good anyway.