Communicating Through Food
When I was younger, going to another kid's birthday party was always a very stress-inducing experience. I would stay by my parents' side, silent, until the food came out. The invisible, awkward barrier that stood between me and others simply vanished. Suddenly, there was an easy topic to bond over, the most basic of human functions - eating.
I envied those who could talk to others so naturally because I had to work so hard to overcome my shyness. I worked so hard but soon realized that labels shift over time. No longer was I just shy. I was labeled by others as an introvert. To me, it was absolutely devastating to have been defined and placed in this bucket by others. It was a label I couldn’t even fathom how to get out of.
Over time, I learned how to appreciate who I am. I realized I could tap into some of my younger self’s habits by incorporating my love of food into my own communication style. For context, I come from a big Latino family with a passion for cooking. While I enjoy making savory food, my true fascination was always with desserts. As I grew older, baking gradually evolved from something watched my mom do into my own hobby and passion.
I started baking sweets to share with others as a way to get more comfortable with them and break the ice. Now, wherever I go, bringing baked goods has become a part of my own personal brand! I love the conversations I have with others and the smiles I see on their faces when we connect over a brownie or cookie. These little connections remind me that I can now help other fellow “introverts” become more comfortable in a social setting and encourage them to start a conversation.
If anybody reading this would like to give this method a shot, below you’ll find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that could serve as your own personal icebreaker at your next gathering. Happy baking! :)
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g brown sugar
100g granulated white sugar
1 egg 1 tsp vanilla 300g All-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt
200g milk chocolate chips 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips
Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes until fluffy and pale in color. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed to combine.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts to the mixing bowl to combine.
Add in the chocolate chips and mix on high speed for 30 seconds.
Optional: Chill the dough for 2 hours in the fridge, to get a cookie that will spread less.
Portion each cookie into roughly 1-inch balls and bake for 11-14 minutes in an oven that’s been preheated to 350 F.
Let cool and enjoy!