I dipped the wooden spoon into the mixture and swiped the back with my finger. For the first time in 2 years, it drew a clean line. Relief. Ecstasy. Thrill.
I finally made custard without eggs curdling.
And all of this reminded me of what I loved so much about cooking and baking. Although I lack the proper attention to detail and am inundated by constant laziness (witness my inability to measure half a cup — look I can just use a 1/4 measuring cup and estimate!), the whole process is so therapeutic.
I grab a fork to swirl the eggs. I dump the sugar into the milk. I drop a star anise into the mixture. Carefully adjust the heat—not too much, but not too little. Like a child—carefully shaped in few seconds, minutes… It’s not entirely forgiving, but I manage.
No computer can be touched. No phone can be attended. I am alone with my ingredients and the instructions that I may or may not have memorized. In these moments, I am alone with the process and for once, happy.