I'm a student at Temple University in Philadelphia, looking to acquaintance myself with the world of baking during my free time (and parent's kitchen) this summer. I play the guitar, love jazz, academics, good literature, and exercise (only because it allows me to stuff more food in my gob!).
I've never really had an interest in baked goods until this past year when I tasted a ridiculously good apple pie. That thing was well made, lemme tell you. I never knew pie could taste so good, having eaten only store bought pies for thanksgiving and other special occasions during my nineteen years of infrequent baked good consumption. Baking intrigues me because there certainly seems to be a bit of magic to it, and I think I can find that element with enough practice and abortive pastry attempts. In addition, no one in my family can bake! I want to be the first to churn out mouth watering pastries. Finally, it's quite random to find a nineteen year old male who bakes well and it should be a nice addition to my motley assortment of skills.
So my first question is this: What is a nice simple recipe to begin this life long journey with? A pie? Some type of cookie? Scones? Meringue buttercreams? Should I open up the cookbook and start churning them out one by one until I'm a pro, or should I find a local master through craigslist and undergo rigorous hours of training until I lay awake at night running through the recipes I've memorized? WHERE do I start?!
Thanks in advance for the comprehensive advice I KNOW y'all are going to dole out!