Winter is a prime season for baking, due in part to the fact that you spend multiple hours in the house due to bad weather. If you are looking for baking recipes, there are multiple sources from which you may draw information, but primary among them should be family recipes.
Even if you do not come from a family of bakers, hopefully some relative somewhere knew how to bake a cake and saved the recipe. If this is not the case, you need to start compiling your own recipes. What baking recipes you use may be reflective of your own familial and cultural history, which deserved to be preserved.
It is incredibly easy to create your own recipe book. All you need is a binder and some three-ringed plastic sleeves. You can organize the binder in a variety of ways; such as organizing by meal or desserts. Or, you can arrange your binder based on subcategories, such cookies, cakes, etc. Ideally, you should also create an index or at least use page dividers to indicate the different section of your recipe book.
After you exhaust family baking recipes, ask your friends. Be incredibly polite when you do this, since certain recipes are probably family secrets and thus heavily guarded. If someone declines to share a recipe, do not take it personally. Baking recipes are generally considered part of the family heritage and are thus carefully protected. If you really like an item that your friend bakes, but you do not know the exact recipe, look it up online. The basic recipe you find will close enough to your friends that you can enjoy a similar product. And, as your own baking skills improve, you may be able to deduce any other special ingredients. In your recipe book, indicate which friends sent you specific recipes. You are creating your own historical document, so it will be fun to compile it accordingly.
The Internet may be your greatest asset in finding your own baking recipes. Granted, not every recipe is going to be good. You will probably have to test out a few different recipes for one type of baked good before you find the best one. Do not get discouraged during this period of experimentation. Any baker improves through trial and error and has a learning curve. Immediately discard any recipe that is not up your standard; otherwise, it may get mixed in with the good recipes.
Once you start accumulating the good recipes and discarding the bad ones, you will have officially started your own baking recipe book. So, spend these cold months developing your own baking repertoire.
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