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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sick Day..or..a Bit More About Me

I'm a bit under the weather today, so I will not be baking. I feel I should post something, and my Mom has suggested I tell you a bit more about my background. I suppose I wasn't that thorough in the introduction that you can find at the bottom of this I will try to give a short but sweet background of the eccentric baking chick and probably post a few pictures of stuff that I just really like.

What brought me to love baking? I suppose it's in my genes. No professional Bakers in my family except for me, but I think that just growing up with people who loved to cook and bake and did both well influenced me greatly. It also didn't hurt when I was given an Easy-Bake Oven at the age of, I think, 5 or 6. It didn't hurt at all, in fact. I'm not sure how many of the little packets of mix I went through but I'm sure it was a great many. From the Easy-Bake Oven I moved on to kitchen experiments. One crazy friend I had in grade school would help me with making candies. We made lollipops and pulled taffy. This was a great start. I moved on to popcorn balls. I would make lemon meringue pie with one of my friends. She would make the meringue, and I would make the filling, and we both would make the crust in turns. I think I may have had sleep issues...because when the rest of the house was sleeping, I was tinkering in the kitchen with different things. I also recall making white bread, having it turn out beautifully, only to have one sister (or was it both? fess up one of you!) eat the inside of the bread leaving a hollow crust. This horrified me as the crust was beautiful and I was so proud of my bread! I have gotten over that now :).

I went from the little baking projects to bigger ones. Making and decorating cakes for my friends in junior high and high school. I taught myself using Wilton cake tins and tips. I took a break from all this and went to college in pursuit of a degree in Art (which was another passion of mine). Things they sometimes do..and I ended up back home..without a degree and not much direction. Not sure what to do with myself I went back to work at the nursing home I had worked at as a teenager. A cook got fired, they offered me the job and offered to pay for culinary schooling. I jumped at the offer. Two years of culinary school later, I was cooking in a five diamond resort. Baking was still something I dreamed of doing, but I needed more experience if I was to work in the pastry department at the resort. In 1999,after another 2 years of working at the resort, I packed myself up and went from very small town Wisconsin to huge city San Francisco to attend the California Culinary Academy in hopes of a Baking and Pastry Certificate. It was awesome, I loved it. I felt in my element. About 6 months later I graduated, a Dean's list student, and was ready to go bake. And now for the really short summary...I baked for 2 years in the pastry department at the resort in Wisconsin. I moved on to a country club and multitasked there cooking and baking. Then I went on to just cook at a golf course in Wisconsin as it seemed there weren't many opportunities for bakers in the small least nothing for a baker who wanted to advance. During all of this I fell in love, over a period of time, with a wonderful Englishman. Yes, it was an online courtship, but we had many visits to each other before G decided to move to Wisconsin and find himself a job. A few months later, G accepted a job Silicon Valley, proposed marriage, I said yes, and then we loaded up the U-haul with our two kitties, and drove out here. I set up the apartment, G worked, and now I am seeking employment and have taken up writing here for my enjoyment and to showcase the food I bake and the photographs that I love taking of it. Now, I must apologize for the length here. It was definitely summarized..Much shorter with many dull things omitted! I hope you didn't fall asleep on me. Now it is time for me to go make some tea and curl up under a blanket and nurse myself back to some form of health. Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!

P.S. I'm so happy that my Easy-Bake Oven still appears to work!


cinara said...

Hi, Jen! I found your blog through a picture I saw in Flickr, and I guess we have some things in common... I also love to bake and to take pictures of my "creations", I love cats (now we have a Siamese) and I also had one of these little ovens! I had one, blue like yours, when I was 6 or 7, and I had a great time with it, although it didn't have that much of an impact on me careerwise. I am a 37 year-old Brazilian journalist and translator, who has just started her own blog, even without knowing where to find time to keep it updated!Anyway, I really enjoyed your blog and hope you visit mine. The problem is that my blog is in portuguese... But if you see a picture that looks yummy to you, write and I will give you the recipe in english, if there's not a link to it on the page, OK?
Good luck with your baking and blogging!

cinara said...

I don't know if I added to the note, but my blog page is

Jen the bread freak said...

Hi Cinara! I'm very happy you enjoyed my blog! I'm going to have a look at your blog. I will definately write you if I see anything I want to bake! Thank you!