My mom had a standing arrangement with my sister, brother, and me:  pick a pie’s worth of blackberries, and I’ll make you a pie.  Fortunately, a burgeoning blackberry bramble sprawled out of the creek down the street from our house.  We spent many a summer afternoon filling coffee cans to the brim with berries and returning home with purple hands and faces.  More often than not, I stood on a chair at the counter helping my mom make crust for her amazing pies.

My mom likes to tell the story about the day my kindergarten class made pies.  Apparently my teacher didn’t know what she was doing, and I started giving her suggestions about cutting the butter into the flour so she’d get the right consistency before adding water–“ice water, Mrs. Robinson”–to the mixture.

So I guess I’ve always been a baker at heart.  Friends convinced me to start writing this blog after I made a few cakes for my kids’ birthday parties.  At the time, I had just gone back to teaching at a small alternative high school in Friday Harbor, WA, but in my spare time, I began sharing stories about my attempts at baking breads, decorating cakes, and  preparing other foods that time usually dictates people to buy rather than make.

Now I’m at home with my kids again after a whirlwind move to California.  While my young girls — with their constant stream of projects — keep me busier than I ever was at work, I’m still trying to squeeze in time to experiment in the kitchen as much as I can.

I can be reached at suzcowden <at> gmail <dot> org.