Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Testing...1, 2...

I bet you thought I was too busy baking to take any time to get into the nitty gritty of actually planning a business.  I bet you did.

Well, you're wrong.

Ladies and Gentlemen, cake lovers of all ages - I have found...wait for it...

A test kitchen.


That's right!  Your friendly neighborhood cake maker has located a RURAL test kitchen, fully operational and industrialized. 

Translation: I'm ready for REAL LIVE BUSINESS. 

Can I get an Amen or something?  This is HUGE people!  Tremendous!  Outstanding.

It calls for cake.

And a completed business plan...and marketing...and a membership in a bridal society or two. 

Ok, so mental checklist of how to open a cake business:
1.  Learn to make awesome cake....CHECK
2.  Get ServSafe Certfication.....CHECK.
3.  Find professional kitchen that won't bankrupt my family...CHECK!

Seriously...whatever 4,5, and 6 are, I'm pretty sure they'll fall in line now that I have a place to bake and bake right. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

80 Years and Counting

Most of my life, I have been blessed to know and love all of my grandparents - even most of my great granparents.  It's only been in the past few years that has sadly changed. 

It's a hard thing to lose anyone you love, but part of the healing process for me has been an increased appreciation of my grandparents.  Especially as I age, I've grown so thankful for all the work and love and time they put into building thier lives and creating stable, loving, god-fearing homes. I love them all the more for the unseen ways they have made our family strong. 

My dad's dad, Grandpa Wayne, recently celebrated his 80th birthday.  I think of him as the strong, silent type, but he has a gooey center if you look for it. 

I lived with him and my Grandma Nell, who has gone on to be with the Lord, for about a year.  I was trying to pay down college debt, and they let me live with them rent free.  It was a huge blessing - it continues to be a blessing because of the financial freedom it allowed me to bring into my mariage.

One thing I'll never, ever forget about that year...I made a point of kissing my Grandfather goodnight, every night, without fail.  I thought maybe it was cheesy to him, but I did it anyway because I wanted to.  I loved to see him blush and jutt out his chin at me, as if daring me to try that again! 

One night in particular, I kissed him goodnight, and turned to head off to bed.  He called me back into the front room and he said something he'd never said to me unprompted.  He stuck out that jaw of his again and he said, "I love you."

For a mushy, emotional type, that wouldn't mean much.  But for Grandpa Wayne, he couldn't have made me feel his love for me anymore if he'd bought me a new car or walked a million milesin the snow...uphill...just for me. 

I recorded that lovely moment in my journal, but it's perfectly preserved in my mind's eye as well.  What a good, Godly mad is my Grandpa Wayne.  He's one of three very important men who have taught me what a real man looks like, how he acts, how he treats others.  Oh how thankful I am for him. 

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Wayne!  I love you too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

It's Thanksgiving today!  Hurray!

I joined the early risers this morning, but it was no turkey I was basting.  No no, I was beating my butter cream to perfection and icing a delicious spice cake with grand marnier and cream cheese butter cream. 

Oooooo, I'm feeling thankful!

Here's the final result...

It will be a pile of crumbs by this evening, but for now, it's a gorgeous 8" circle of heaven. 

Here's a little close up of the sugar flowers...

Enjoy your feast and family, and I hope you decide to make your Christmas and New Year's a special time with a Bake Lore creation. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why I Love the Egg

Eggs are important.

They hold things together.

They make some things light and airy...others they make thick and creamy.

They make things that would otherwise be white...yellow.

They make everything - whether it's your breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert - better. 

What other food on earth is so universally useful, nourishing and practical? 

The egg is this bakers favorite food.  I have come to embrace my inner pragmatist, and I realize that the things I prize above all others are the things that are the most useful. 

photo credit
That's why my wardrobe is mostly made up of black turtlenecks and blue jeans.  That's why I love white paint more than any other color and why I always have vanilla extract on hand.  That's why I buy distilled white vinegar by the case (is there ANYthing white vinegar can't do?) and that's why I have a deep and abiding admiration for the wonderous creation that is the egg.

Last night, as I was about to mix up a delicious spice cake for Thanksgiving, I realized I had but one egg in the house. 

The horror!

This had to be fixed. 

Today, I have three and one half dozen eggs with me, and I'm feeling much better about life in general.  They will make cake, buttercream and numerous skillets of scrambled eggs - maybe even a potato pancake or two with leftovers from tomorrow's feast?

I could wax eloquent about the merits of butter or high quality flour, but really, without the all-important egg, those things don't amount to much. 

It's about to be Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for eggs, for egg producers, for the little hens who cluck and sit all day to make them for us. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  Enjoy your eggs, both seen and unseen, as you feast and fete tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Compliments of Bake Lore!

The day, the hour and the moment have arrived! 

Today is the Linton Festival of Homes and my house, now affectionately known as "The Gray Lady" (her many upgrades for this home show have allowed her to shed "The Gray Beast" and move up in the world!), is ga-ga-gorgeous, inside and out.

And who would miss such an opportunity to promote a cake business?  Not moi!

After they see the Christmas spread in the rest of my house, the ticket holders will get to stop in the kitchen for a free sample of Bake Lore cake. 

Buttery Yellow Cake with Vanilla Butter Cream and
a whole mess of hand made sugar flowers
festive, little holly berries
Hint Home Show Goers:
Doncha want to see these gorgeous things on your OWN cake???
My cahd, dahhhhhling...
I hope this turns into some new opportunities for Bake Lore.  Here's hoping those business cards go far and wide., I'm off to put my feet up.  It's been a LONG week, y'all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Cabin That Could Have Been...

I am one of those people.

The kind who compress time, the kind who say "yes" when they should say "no," the kind who take too many mashed potatoes at dinner because they just look so good.

My plate has been WAY too full lately.  Holidays not withstanding, I chose to put my house (to whom I have affectionately referred as The Gray Beast since moving in) in a home show.  That's right, my 100 year old beast has been getting spruced up for her entrance into society.

My to-do list was four pages, single spaced.  I'm proud to say I've only got two things left on that list, both of which will be done by professionals while I watch sipping apple juice and eating fish cracker that I stole from my kid.

So why not add to that fun by entering a gingerbread log cabin contest????  Am I right????  I'm SO right! 

No.  I'm wrong. 

Why would you tell me I'm right.  That is so mean.  You just want to see me go gray prematurely and start consuming only fast food so I'll get fat and you can feel superior in your skinny pants.  I know.


So I entered a gingerbread log cabin contest.  I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to get this thing TO the contest, but I"ll figure that out after I scrape the royal icing out from under my finger nails.  Gross.

It's amazing how well home improvement skills transfer to decorating things.  It's all just a lot of caulking really. 

My original idea was pretty intense - a replica of my honeymoon cabin, complete with hot tub and porch swing.  But it came out slightly different...more like a white and brown Habitat for Humanity build that got suspended for code violations. 

If this were a gingerbread Jeep contest, I would totally have a chance.

Be's no prize winner, but under the circumstances, this was pretty much a blazing success.