I’m Single & I Don’t Want To Bake Things In Mugs

Shani Silver
6 min readJun 24, 2020

“Alexa, what’s half of 2/3 cup?”

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

I’m a baker. Not one who gets paid for her efforts, nothing like that. I’m the kind who bakes at home and then Instagrams it because heaven forbid we do things other people can’t praise us for. I bake lots of pies and muffins and experiments with alternative flours because I have the gastrointestinal strength of a wet piece of notebook paper. I do my best.

Another vital fact you should know if you’re going to spend your time reading my internet work (though honestly, I’m not that flattered, what else do we have going on), is that I’m single. I am baking for one. Perhaps most especially during a global pandemic but in truth, always. I’ve never baked anything, for anyone, but me. You know I take that back, one time on a group vacation to a cabin in the woods I made a large batch of cinnamon rolls for my friends. As I recall, they were a success, despite the fact that I had to prep them the evening prior while halfway to the bottom of a bottle of Chablis.

What does it mean to bake for one person? It means one thing, more than any other: math. Fucking math! There is so much math in baking for one person that if you’d told me back in eighth grade how vital fractions were actually going to be in my adult life I’d have run away to the furthest corners of Alaska to live off grid and let the winter claim me.

I made it through the vast majority of my pre-collegiate education with straight As and no boyfriends. “Nothin’ But Vowels” Silver, that was me. But not if you count math. Math was my nemesis. My evil Thanos ready to snap my self esteem into dust in the wind because my sense of worth was attached to my grades because what the fuck else do you have at fourteen?! I cannot do fractions, they are hard. I have no grip on the metric system, I’m American. Have you read a recipe lately and completed the mental contortions required to shrink it down to single person size? If you want to bake anything more than trash can lining, you will need fractions, the metric system, or both.

All recipes assume you’re in love. There, I’ve said it. They require ingredient quantities of insulting proportions, knowing full well a single person cannot consume an entire sheet cake without falling ill or leaving it to mold. There are no…