Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A bit about my culinary beginnings

Well, not only do I love to cook, but I also loooove to bake. It is unusual to have a passion for both culinary areas, but for some crazy reason I do. Generally, people who love to cook don’t like the precision and “rules” necessary to bake; and people who like to bake need the exactness of a recipe in order to feel comfortable. Being an unusual gal myself, I love both. The freedom of cooking liberates me. Knowing that I can switch ingredients on a whim allows my creative juices to flow and keeps me on my toes. On the flip side, the preciseness of baking is more structured and allows me to focus on what I am producing. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of creative freedom when baking as you’ll see from my cookie menu. First and foremost, you have to understand the science behind baking, and then you’ll feel free to listen to your creative voice.

My baking career started when my Grammy asked me to help her make dessert for my Grampy’s birthday, I was just 4 years old. We made a cherry cobbler, and I remember it like it was yesterday (it was far from yesterday!). My Grammy sat me on the counter and showed me how to mix the filling…”gently”…Then we made the crumble topping. This was the best part because I got to put my hands in the bowl and get messy mushing the ingredients through my fingers, so liberating. Together we sprinkled the crumble topping over the filling, and I watched her place it in the oven. Then it came time to sing to my Grampy and that is when it hit me…the smile on his face was as big as ever…he knew I made the dessert…and look how happy it made him!!! From that moment on I was hooked, not only on the baking part, but on the huge smiles that followed.

After baking for someone else for 7 awesome years, I decided to branch off and start my own business. Quint’s Finest Gourmet Cookies & More was born in September of ’09, and I just love it. Times can be extremely stressful, but it is very fulfilling to own my own business. Of course, my favorite part is creating new recipes. I am constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations from ideas that pop into my head at 3 a.m. Some cookies are deep and rich, like the Devil’s Delight; and some cookies are light and crisp, like Lime Shortbread. Right now I have 16 flavors and counting! Wait a minute, isn’t that a TV show? Oh no, that’s kids…ha ha ha.

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