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Monday, February 18, 2013

Butter and sugar.....

Cream the butter and sugar.....that's how most of my favorite stories begin. I read cookbooks like most people read dime store novels...(hahahaha....DIME store....remember them???) there is no question....baking is my passion!! I have to say, though, this last week....I thought it, also, might be the end of me!!!!!
I bake....all day, EVERYDAY.....all week long. Cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, shortbread, scones, cheesecakes, pies, tarts.....all from scratch, in SMALL batches, one batch at a time. The word I would use to best describe my style of baking would be old-fashioned....because it's the BEST word to use when describing baked goods. The newest, latest, greatest trends....they're fine...but not me. CAN I decorate wedding cakes....do a "cartoon character of the day" on a half sheet....yup. But I have been there....and done that....and I don't want to any more!! I love to look at the super decorated cookies....and could do those, too, if I wanted to....but I don't. I don't want to make fondant covered mountains of sugar....frankly I think fondant tastes awful. I don't want to jump on the next "craze" bandwagon....I have never been a bandwagon jumper!! I want to make amazing desserts that remind you of your childhood....or make your birthday happy....or just plain brighten your mood!!!
          I get the phone calls and inquires about whatever the craze of the week is....will I do a cake in the shape of....fill in the blank....but the answer is always going to be "NO".
          To tell you the truth....I think I have created a "craze" of my own. Every day....more and more "white boxes full of happiness" leave the bakery. Each one containing favorite treats for friends, family....or whoever is carrying the box!! That makes me very, VERY happy!! There is no greater compliment than the white boxes leaving the shop in droves....except all of the compliments I hear from all of you!!
           But....I have to say...with Valentine's day, this week, I had a moment or two when I thought I just might not be able to keep up....when I thought you might just eat it all faster than I could bake it!!! All in all.....a pretty GREAT "problem"!!!! I hope you guys had a wonderful...."sweet"....Valentine's Day!! We are taking a much needed "break" day....and so is my mixer!!! But....we will be right back at it tomorrow!! After all....baking IS my passion....and making people happy is my job....and most of the time...it's a piece of cake (or cookies, cupcakes, scones, brownies.....:)  )

Monday, February 11, 2013

Change is GOOD!!!!!!

Once Upon A Time....that's how all the good stories start...and I thought we should start at the beginning!!

I decided it was time to do a little makeover. Actually I decided that a little while ago...but sometimes the schedule doesn't coincide with the "want-tos"!! The first project....the ceiling in the "Yellow" dining room!! The Tiffany blue was a somewhat BOLD choice....but I have never been afraid of what other people think....so Tiffany blue it was!!!
Next step....the complete makeover of the tables in the "Red" dining room. Now....this was a slightly more thought provoking decision. I knew what I WANTED to do....but I need to take the comfort and happiness of my "guests" (customers...) into consideration. Will glass tops be uncomfortable?? No....I don't think so. So....we ordered the glass tops and my husband worked wonders on the tables. All of the bases are painted, the tops have chalkboard paint (so I can change them when the mood strikes!!) and there is a new, finished wood edge around the outside!! They look AWESOME....right??

Then...the new curtains in the "Yellow" dining room!! Now....this was quite the adventure!! Finding the fabric turned into a wee bit of a nightmare....but, eventually, I was sitting in front of my sewing machine!! I started with the red fabric....just got into my "groove" (and this is DURING Lunch service!!!) and something went terribly wrong with my machine....Hmmm.....well...I have always wanted a brand new sewing machine!! A whole lot of unwanted drama later....and the new curtains are UP!!!!

So....the moral of the story (because all good stories have morals....) Change is GOOD!!
I would venture to guess....when you look at these pictures....that you assume this is what my house looks like. You would be wrong. My house is, actually, older than the shop....and decorated in a very primitive style. There is a similarity, though. Me. I LOVE old things....antiques, old kitchen stuff, old garden stuff, quilts, furniture, old Holiday decorations....old houses (I MUST if I own TWO "antique" properties!!!) all of it tells a story. There is quality, craftsmanship, character, pride and detail in "old" things that just "talks" to me!! Needless to say....I think the "re-use....re-purpose" trend we are enjoying is GREAT!!! But I am NOT a purist!! Fun, humor and whimsy "talk" to me too....and that is evident in my home as well as in the shop!! I hope you have been in to see all of the changes in person....but, in case you have not, I hope you enjoyed this little "tour"!! (We are not done....there are more projects in the works!!) So far....ALL of the response has been VERY positive....which is nice. It's nice when people realize how hard you work to make them happy!! Because....after all....making people happy IS my job....and while most of the time it's a piece of cake....sometimes it's a paintbrush and a new sewing machine!!!