A rush of excitement engulfs sophomore Kassidy Huynh as she peers at the mixing bowl in front of her, spatula in hand. Her hands itch to begin mixing the clumps and chunks of ingredients into her favorite mouth-watering dessert, a warm and soft banana nut bread.
Huynh’s aspiration for baking traces back to seeing her mother bake. In her eyes, her mother’s desserts are the best because they taste unique and are made with love.
“I remember when I was little, I used to watch my mom bake and I would think about how cool it was to be able to create food so beautifully,” Huynh said. “When I was seven, my mom finally let me help her in the kitchen and I immediately fell in love with the art of baking.”
Huynh’s mother slowly introduced her to different recipes and continues to try to lift Huynh’s spirit through baking to this day.
“Every time I had a bad day, she always knew what to bake to cheer me up,” Huynh said. “One time my mom made me a pistachio cake and it made me feel special since she went out of her way to bake me something. I don’t remember anyone ever going out of their way to make me feel better or being able to tell that I had a bad day, so it made me feel ‘seen.’”
Huynh and her mom bake monthly, strengthening their bond while also experimenting with treats. Her fondest memories revolve around baking.
“When I was about 12, I spent a whole week just baking and my parents had to force me out of the kitchen because I didn’t realize how much time had gone by each day,” Huynh said. “I spent that week preparing various recipes to make rainbow cupcakes as a surprise for my cousins’ birthday party.”
Among the various treats Huynh bakes, she makes monkey bread the most, but banana walnut bread holds a special place as she enjoys mashing the bananas. With the goods she makes, Huynh often passes them out to her friends as a kind gesture and to put a smile on their faces.
“I love seeing my friends happy,” Huynh said. “Some of my friends don’t have lunch, so it’s also for them to have food throughout that day.”
Baking has been a pastime and creative outlet of Huynh’s, but above all, it has enabled Huynh to become more expressive and comfortable with herself and others.
“Baking has made my life better in so many ways,” Huynh said. “It allows me to take a breather every once in a while. It’s a time when I can just relax and be creative in my own way.”