Spiced pumpkin bread+doing things even when you are not ready

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This week, I got my first food styling gig for a tv commercial and it was the most fun I have had in the last few months even though it involved a lot of running around, meetings, hours of food prep, a few meltdowns and being on set for almost 24 hours but it was worth it. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I felt a bit nervous. I had never styled for such a big shoot with multiple cuisines and dishes to tackle in a very short time frame. I reminded myself that the butterflies in my stomach weren’t because of nerves but excitement. Its a neat little trick I had heard on one of the many podcasts I listen to on my endlessly long commute and am happy to report it works like a charm!

I woke up at 4 am on the day of the shoot, downed about a litre of coffee to actually wake up and then breezed through the day because one, the entire team was incredibly kind and helpful and secondly, I was super organised. I suck at multitasking but there I was whisking buttercream, styling the table for a pie, rolling out dough, adding finishing touches to a coconut chutney and showing the actress how to drizzle ganache on a bundt cake like a pro. Just because I had spend over two weeks preparing for every little detail. It paid off and everything went off smoothly except the part where I burned my hand but that happens almost on a daily basis. It has been three years since I was back on a set (I worked as an assistant director on tv commercials before starting my food brand)and it felt like I had never left. I remembered the chaos, the camaraderie, 15 minute lunch breaks and overcrowded vanities. It was good to be back, especially because I was actually doing something that I truly enjoy and it was only for a day :)

I am not one to usually step out of my comfort zone to ask for what I want. But that’s how I got this gig. I spoke to a bunch of lovely people I worked with and showed them some stuff I was working on and asked them to give me a shot as a food stylist. I did all of this with confidence even though in my head, I didn’t feel too qualified for it. But I reminded myself that I was 34 freaking years old and if not now, then when? So next time you are nervous, ask yourself the same question. It’ll do the trick.

Oh and this pumpkin bread is pretty easy, even for first time bakers. Plus it tastes great because of the blend of spices used in the batter (cinnamon,nutmeg,ginger and clove)!. its hard to find canned pumpkin puree in India so I make my own by roasting the pumpkins and then grinding it in the food processor. Thats the only tedious part of this otherwise easy recipe.