[Reposting from “Baked!” at Yummy.ph, November 2009]
I was around eight years old the first time I realized I could feed people with the things I whipped up in the kitchen. Carpenters were renovating our home (my parents bought our house barebones, with gray walls and hardly anything built in). I went into the kitchen to toss some flour and water to make my own Play-Doh and as an afterthought, decided to flatten and toast it in a hot pan and then finally coating it in sugar. One of the carpenters ate it, which I found really amusing—and gross, because to me, it was play-dough!
Before that, I spent weekends and summers at my aunt’s bakeshop. She let me tinker around and even let me use her candy thermometers, trays, and random ingredients—even the expensive ones. I made my own pink lollipops wherein I boiled sugar and water and waited until the thermometer pointed to ‘hard crack’; put in a few drops of red food coloring; poured the scorching mixture onto metal sheet pans; and then lay Zest-o straws over the hot sugar, slightly melting them in the process. I also watched my aunt create intricate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday cakes, and she let me make my own cheese candies and butter frosting to decorate a small cupcake (or two) to take to my best friend’s house on a playdate. Thanks to her, I became aware at an early age how delightful and delicious butter could be (as opposed to lard or shortening).
Over the years, I would be in and out of the kitchen. But it wasn’t until these last two years that I’ve seriously perused a career in food. The plans may still be blurry at this point, but so far, I’ve taken to blogging plenty of times about the things I’ve made in the kitchen. Food was always in the background, no matter what job I held. Well, at some point, I did work in a restaurant as a hostess and maître d’ during my early months in New York. And when I started working in an office again, I brought freshly-baked banana chocolate chip muffins and nutella to share with colleagues. When I found myself jobless, I baked more muffins and brownies as I nursed my wounded ego and jumpstarted my freelance career.
Fast-forward to more than a year after and much to my delight, I was recently called in to blog for the new and improved, Yummy.ph! So here I am, chronicling my foray into the baking world, with lots of sweet (and at times savory) musings along the way.
As if right on cue, my mother also gifted me with a brand new Kitchenaid stand mixer: the 90th Anniversary Edition in Candy Apple Red. Certainly I no longer have an excuse to not officially tinker about in the kitchen. So far, since it arrived, I’ve made chocolate cake, buttermilk biscuits, carrot cake, lemon vanilla cake, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies with it. And I can’t wait to talk about and share with you all these sweet treats. Meet you back here next week!