- Anna Weisend
- 08 May 2019
When was the last time you just played?
Research has already shown that tinkering aids a child's education by offering benefits such as hands-on learning, skill development, critical thinking skills, team development, learning how to fail, and that there are endless possibilities.
Research has also shown that life long learning is profitable for adults. It offers a better chance at career success, helps maintain brain health, it can help stay current and connected, it can help stave off depression and increase happiness, and it can be a source of fulfillment.
So, if tinkering is good for education and lifelong education benefits us how does that exactly translate into sugar?
Many baked goods were discovered by either accident or necessity. For example, the great American biscuit started out as a scone. When those British settlers landed on the shores, they eventually ran out of sugar and other yummy inclusions and baked a quick bread with just fat, flour, and liquid. Because that is all they had. The Charlotte was created when someone’s custard didn’t mold the way it was supposed to so they supported it with cake or ladyfingers. And the brownie? It is almost certain that was a cake fail… but what a delicious fail!
When it comes to decorating, how many beautiful techniques were born out of “What if?” What if I try mixing this with that? Dunking that in there? Spreading this on that?
If the thought of tinkering sounds too juvenile or frivolous to you, insert the word experiment. You will sound very grown up and logical. Or use the words Research and Development and sound very business savvy.
Whatever word works for you it all comes down to the same thing….play with your food.
Where to Start
Start with fun.
If you are out of practice, invite a friend or two to join you. The goal is not to come away with a finished product. The goal is to see what you can see.
Focus on a medium or a technique and start playing with it. See what happens if you try something new with it. See how you can manipulate it or change it. Can you make it mimic something outside of the sweet world? How far can you stretch it, roll it, pull it? Can you mix two mediums together?
New things can be born out of having all this fun.
What about the fails and the disasters? It is just as important to know what doesn’t work as it is to have good results. It is just as important to know what you don’t want so it can help clarify what you do want. That means everything that you discover in your tinkering is valuable.
And don’t forget to have fun!
More beautiful things are born of joy and happiness than out of frustration and obligation.
Go forth and tinker!