I have loved to bake since as far as I can remember. It was my grandma Emily who instilled in me the joy of showing love through baking. She was a terrible cook, but a wonderful baker! She always had cakes made with bumper crops from the garden my grandpa tended in their huge front yard. During the summer months and on weekends throughout the year, my sister, brother and I would love to go to gramma’s house! They were both retired and always busy with projects around the house or in the garden. There was a constant rotation of delicious homey cakes depending on what bumper crop was currently being harvested. Apple cake, zucchini cake, banana cake, strawberry pies…her famous cookies and rocky road every holiday season, all this and apricot brandy made for lots of yumminess every time we went to grammas.
Baking for me was therapy, an activity that I now realize was my earliest teacher for being present. When I am baking I am not thinking of anything but the measurements and temperatures, the smells and tastes, and envisioning the finished product. Even though I was a good baker, I lacked the confidence to make a business of it until I went to some weekend courses at culinary school. What I learned at pastry school was that I was a VERY good baker, with an eye and taste for what makes things yummy. I did learn some recipes and techniques that were added to my epertoire, but the most important thing I learned is that there are learners and there are doers.
There was no magic secret to baking that I didn’t already know. I knew that accuracy was important, that even great bakers cannot make a recipe great, some recipes are just bad. I learned that I already had the talent and skills to make a business if that is what I wanted. I learned that believing in yourself is the first step to achieving your dreams, and that if you open yourself to the idea there are people everywhere who will help you. Understand that persistence, consistency, and learning from your mistakes is key to reaching your loftiest dreams.