Posted on October 19 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

As soon as I started sharing the concept of this blog, the questions started rolling in.  And they keep coming!  I love it, and wanted to just fill you lovely people in on some answers to questions that I get quite often. 

So you’re like Julie & Julia then, right?
I guess?  When I decided to do this, the thought of those ladies didn’t even cross my mind, which is weird, I think.  It probably should have, because apparently this is the first thing that comes out of anyone’s mouth when I tell them about my blog.  I’d never seen the movie, or read the bookI did recently purchase the book though.  So that’s something.

Who do you want to play you in your movie?

Good question, glad you asked.  This is a very important question we all need to ask ourselves, and have our answers prepared so we can momentarily pretend we’re not sure and have never thought about it.   Ever since Zooey Deschanel’s new TV show hit the airwaves I’ve been getting texts, FB messages, etc. that there’s a TV show about me.  I think it’s the glasses/brunette with bangs thing, but I’ll take that comparison any day.  So yeah, either her or Amy Poehler with a wig. 

Why are you doing this?

Basically I love to write and tell stories, and I think I’m best at just sharing non-fictional accounts of my life.  I set out to make a blog where I documented going through the entire Tartine cookbook, and it just organically turned into a blog where I share the funny side of baking, successes and failures, so it really felt like a good fit for me. 

How long will this take you?

If my calculations are accurate, it should take about a year, baking two items per week.

You made this?

Yes I did, and why do you sound surprised?

What does Jack think of all of this?

C’mon, seriously?  He’s two.  This blog involves no trains or cars or soccer balls, so he could care less.  He does light up when he eats something delicious though, so I guess he’s totally into it.  I’m sure if he was beyond two-word sentences and could read the blog he would say something like, “Mother, you are such a wonderful baker, making such delectable treats all the time.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” 

Is it hard to find ingredients?

Yes, and no.  So many of the recipes I’ve encountered so far involve things I always have on hand.  Lots of flour, butter, eggs and sugar.  Then you have some things thrown into the mix, like almond paste or crème fraîche, and grocery store employees have a look on their faces as if I asked, “Could you help me cut off your foot?” when I ask them to help me find products.  One fellow who I see frequently stacking shelves now ducks away when he sees me.  I refuse to think he’s running from me, I think it’s coincidentally “break time” when he sees me walking down the aisle with a confused/lost look on my face.

Have you always been a baker?

Not really.  I love to cook, and am often making dinner when we’re not hitting up our favorite eateries.  I occasionally find a recipe for some sort of baked good that looks delicious that I just have to make, and I have a go-to recipe for molasses cookies that are pretty darned amazing.  Oh, and banana bread!

What else do you do besides bake?

Nothing.  No, that’s a lie.  I’m often all over this little town, playing with my adorable son.  I do love me some crafting.  I started The Kalamazoo Craft Corps, where we have these monthly “Saturday Crafternoon” events.  Often times it’s just me and my friend Colleen, but some other people show up on occasion and that’s always fun.  I also have a writing workshop/group comprised of some talented friends, and we meet and workshop stuff we’re working on.  We use it as a time to drink wine, laugh and eat snacks.  I like to watch TV – super into Parks and Recreation, The Office, Game of Thrones, and now my husband and I are catching up on Breaking Bad.  Don’t ruin it with spoilers, Jerky McJerkerson!

What did you do before Tar-Tryin’?

I’m assuming you mean professionally?  My main gig: stay at home mama.  I was a high school teacher for five years before that. 

What kind of camera do you use?

A Canon 60D. 

Do you eat everything you bake?

I am all about sharing things I make!  The calorie intake would be insane if I ate every single thing I made.  I do certainly taste everything I make.  I can’t be giving people gross food.

Why Tartine?

I’ve spoken about this when I first started the blog, but there is something really magical about the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.  You know, magic enough to lure people in regularly to wait in line for an hour or longer, and who in their right mind wants to wait in line ever?  Then you throw in the fact that some of that magic is magically converted to book format, and it’s like wielding She-Ra’s sword.  On the flip-side there is something so very intimidating about baking anything out of that cookbook.  Éclairs?  Chocolate truffles?  I mean, I’ve had it on a shelf for four years without ever making anything from it.  I did buy ingredients once in order to make éclairs, but my dog ate all of the ingredients, then promptly threw it all up before I could make them.  Seriously.  This is probably just crazy ol’ me, but that intimidation factor causes anxiety – I just don’t want to mess things up because they are such magical pastries.  Summary: Love of Tartine + Intimidation of baking their stuff = a fun l’il project.  Did I mention the word magical enough?

Where did you live in San Francisco?

We lived in a tiny ground-level apartment in Lower Haight, specifically the corner of Page and Webster.  Stepping foot down into our apartment gave everyone the déjà vu moment of sailing on a tiny ship.

What’s the worst part about what you’re doing?

Washing dishes.  That’s the worst.  We need a dishwasher!  That, and the lack of counter space in my kitchen can be infuriating.  I have Hulk-like rages when I have no where to put a mixing bowl!

Where in the world is Kalamazoo?

Kalamazoo is in the southwest corner of Michigan, snuggled right in between the neck and shoulder of the Midwest.   Such a cozy spot here.

Where did you get your glasses/are they real?

Yes, I use them to see the world.  I got these gems from the only angry person in Milan, Italy.  I think she was having a bad day.  Anyhow, they’re Marc by Marc Jacobs and I would sleep in them if it wasn’t so crazy uncomfortable to do so.

So, you’re really going to do this?

Y es.  Yes, I am.

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