Megan Bauerle
A Baker’s Dozen

Twelve baking moments

From: Megan, April 2020, connecting with the Earth when we’re all connected online.
To: My Instagram story, where I see most of my friends.

From: Megan, July 2020, decorating in an isolated room.
To: My sister, a 21st birthday gift, can you still bake for me now that you are in the adult world?

From: Megan, December 2021, at home for Christmas break.
To: A new college friend, express-delivery for the cookie exchange.

From: Usdan, February 2021, a take-home Valentine’s delivery.
To: Megan, Clark Hall, too much free time on an empty campus.


Who would I have been if I had learned to fold dumplings rather than fold flour? If Christmases full of nutmeg and cloves had instead spread aromas of sesame and garlic? Plates of cookies for Santa, cherry pies on the Fourth of July, cinnamon rolls on the weekends, all of my memories dusted with powdered sugar. Recipes scrawled in my grandmother’s loopy cursive, tucked into pages of The Spice Book tome. My Uncle’s Death by Chocolate cake, my Aunt’s cream-puff tower. Though I learned how to use chopsticks in college, I was 6, punching out sugar cookie shapes. I long for who I would have been if I had grown up seeing steaming rice instead of a smoking grill, but the oven timer is going off, and I pull another tray of hearts from the oven.

From: Megan, October 2022, to celebrate birthday with a tea party.
To: Fauver guests, please come in floral attire.

From: Megan, December 2022, classic American gingerbread with classic American values.
To: Jaeweon, my language partner, I hope you have a safe flight back to Korea.

From: Megan, March 2022, on campus on spring break.
To: Myself, the Usdan schedule means these cookies will be my breakfast.

From: Megan, February 2023, Happy Lunar New Year!
To: A toast for the Year of the Rabbit


elementary labels: teachers’ goodbye pies
allergen-free signs: rice crispy treats at a swim party celebration
coconut flakes: topping german chocolate for my mom’s thirty-fourth
gift-box: thank you cookies for my coworker
update address: chocolate chip care packages to friends in college
seventy candles: my grandfather’s last cake

From: Megan, February 2023, woke up at 6 am to have fresh Valentine’s cookies.
To: ???, can someone be my Valentine?

From: Megan, May 2023, please don’t make me study for finals.
To: My roomie, here’s to staying on campus this summer.

From: My aunts, December 2023, attached their family recipe.
To: Megan, come back to visit any time!

From: Megan, March 2024, hopefully these turned out well enough to bring into class.
To: ANTH313, can you leave a review for me?

video exploration

This video attempts to capture how I experience the baking process. I have always felt baking is a meditative activity, something solitary that produces something to connect with others. Overlaid throughout the video are donated reviews of how cookies make people feel and what the taste of cookies reminds them of: home, magic, rainbows, and clouds.