I've been baking, and enjoying it, since I was very young. Growing up, we always had homemade baked goods in the house, thanks to my grandma who lived with us. (She made the bestest cookie dough crust for blueberry pie that I've ever had!!)
True, she baked the "old-fashioned" way (a pinch of this, a smidgen of that), but still, I watched and learned. Grandma (and my parents) emigrated here after World War II, and her baking was ethnic and delicious. I adored her!
After I married and had children, I seemed to bake more and more. Given my upbringing, it always seemed important to me to have something fresh and yummy in the house for dessert or a snack. I made cakes (and pies and cookies) for every birthday, and holiday, and any other excuse I could come up with. I made wedding cakes for friends and family, and loved every minute of it. I distinctly remember my daughter's first birthday (she's 23 now), when I made this elaborate 3 tiered cake, complete with roses and scroll work, only to have her stick her hands gleefully into my masterpiece. (Who knew about smash cakes then? lol)
I tried very hard to get things just right in my decorating. I practiced my flowers, my piping, my smoothing. It was very important to me to be "perfect." (Or, as perfect as I could get.) I wanted my decorating to be elegant and refined. Call it youthful determination, I guess.
But now I'm older. And my style has changed. Oh, I still want to get things "right", (and I still spend alot of time practicing my skills) but I am not as inclined toward the dignified and elaborate. I've decided that now, in middle age, I am distinctly more whimsical than I used to be. (At 52, I absolutely adore Hello Kitty. That's whimsical, right?? :-)
For instance, take these cookies that I did recently for a baby shower.
here). And this is the type of stuff I totally enjoy doing now.
They make me happy!
Oh, I still try my hand at more difficult work (Haniela is one of my biggest inspirations) and, of course, if I produced a beautiful five tier wedding cake that won a prize at the Oklahoma Sugar show I'd be more than thrilled!
But for now, I guess I'll stick to the things that make me smile!