Mixing cakes, Parkinson’s and an unexpected root vegetable

Before my Parkinson’s symptoms started I used to enjoy baking. But in recent years I hadn’t baked for a long time as it’s something I find difficult with my lack of dexterity in my hands. I’m right handed and my right side is more affected than my left. I can’t usually manage to beat an egg as I can’t seem to get the strength in my right wrist. While I can do some things using my left hand instead, beating an egg isn’t one of those things. Recently, when my meds were peaking I was very excited that I could beat an egg. It’s funny the things I can get excited about now. The small things which bring me joy.

Recently, I’ve started to get back into baking again. It’s quite an effort and sometimes my hands shake as I stir, but it’s such a lovely feeling when I’ve baked something. There’s something satisfying about mixing raw ingredients together and then the transformation when you take a well risen cake out of the oven. And even when it doesn’t come out perfectly, it’s still something that I baked – when a couple of years ago I had lost interest in baking completely.

There always seems to be a lot going on in my day to day life – throw Parkinson’s into the mix and I have to do things more slowly – literally stirring my cake mix more slowly when baking. But doing things more slowly gives me a chance to focus on one thing at a time – rather than doing several things at once. And sometimes that can be a good thing.

Life with Parkinson’s isn’t a piece of cake, but I can still enjoy the small pleasures in life such as baking and sharing a cake with friends and family. In fact, I recently baked a cake with parsnips in. I never would have thought that putting parsnips in a cake would work, but it does. And having thought for a while that I couldn’t bake any more, I’m very grateful that I can.

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