Maya Sneider finds tranquility baking in her gingham apron

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Junior Maya Sneider

Junior Maya Sneider has once had a breakdown about a loaf of bread. 

As a passionate baker, Maya enjoys challenging herself in the kitchen. Her forte lies in scones and cookies, and extending to baking bread seemed like a very natural next step for her. 

“[While] I was trying to make bread, I got flour and powdered sugar mixed up because they look really similar,” Maya said, “so I kept adding powdered sugar, and it wasn’t working. Then I had a full-on breakdown because I couldn’t do it.”

Despite the chaos of her bread-making endeavors, normally, baking is a very calming activity for Maya. Because she found a love for it at only ten years old, it’s impressive how much of a passion and gratitude she has grown for the activity. 

For Maya, baking began as a fun release of stress. As the years went by, however, she baked much more consistently, and new memories opened new doors in her hobby. 

“I had [scones] for the first time over the summer with my friend,” Maya said. “Then, I looked up the recipe for [them]. [Now] I bake scones almost every weekend [because] I like having them for breakfast before school.”

Although Maya adores the breakfast benefits that come from baking, she isn’t the only person who gets to gain from her passion for baking. Her family also enjoys the bliss she finds in the kitchen and the constant cascade of sweet treats that come with her weekend baking segments. 

Despite baking being something Maya discovered a love for independently, she also feels her hobby has a way of bringing her closer to those around her. In moments when they don’t know what else to do, baking is always an entertaining option for Maya and her friends. Her most cherished connection, however, is one she strengthens with her grandma. 

“One of my favorite baking [traditions] is baking with my grandma every year for Christmas,” Maya said. “Especially [making] no-bake cookies, we always make those together.”

One of my favorite baking [traditions] is baking with my grandma every year for Christmas. Especially [making] no-bake cookies, we always make those together.”

— Maya Sneider

With peaceful memories such as those, it’s easy for Maya to find tranquility in her kitchen. Music is also constantly harmonizing with the pings and clangs of her baking routine. Listening to her favorite musical artists such as The Lumineers, Noah Kahan, and Mac Miller adds greatly to the ambiance she creates. 

No matter what music plays in the background, or what kind of a day she had, Maya’s pre-baking rituals always puts her in the right state of mind to create. 

“I always put my hair in a bun,” Maya said, “and I put on my apron. [My apron is] blue and white gingham, and it has a little flower on the top.”

Maya’s appreciation for such an involved hobby soars past many others’ casual interest in baking. The number of scones she has made and baked goods she has delivered to her friends and family members is impressive. This hobby always finds a new way to fulfill her. 

No matter how many exciting, sweet treats she gains from baking, the memories and life lessons she has gained from spending time creating in her kitchen have shaped her into who she is today. Above all else, the happiness she feels in the peace of baking is unsurpassed. 

“I think baking is therapeutic,” Maya said. “Baking makes me feel relaxed because I can focus on the task at hand and not worry about anything else at that moment—just baking.”