Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baking and Books

My daughter Ruby was just home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday. She has her own vegan baking blog so she spent much of her time in the kitchen baking, then taking photos on the back porch to catch "just-the-right-light"; tough to do on these gray pre-snow days in Minnesota. On Black Friday she went shopping at Trader Joe's for baking supplies to use in her small college kitchen. Trader Joe's was not offering any midnight deals, in fact the  person at the cash register was quite happy to be enjoying a relatively slow pace compared to the Thanksgiving rush just the day before. Canola oil, cashews for vegan cheese, and almonds were on the shopping list. I threw in a box of "Candy Cane Green Tea" to help her through finals to the holidays. 

When we got home Ruby scoured the attic, basement, and closets for small plates, cups, saucers, pieces of cloth, doilies and anything that might serve as background and props for photographing her baked goods. Where did she get this amazing ability to bake delicious things to eat?  I have my theories... but I think it all comes down to books...
Ruby photographing pumpkin pancakes, watch for the recipe on her blog! Delicious!
Both Ruby and my son, Cooper grew up with books. Everything books! I think it all began with cookbooks. Our favorite was Pretend Soup by Mollie Katsen. "Bagel faces" and "Bright Pink Fruit Dip" were two of our favorite recipes. We also loved trying recipes we found in stories, such as: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, or our favorite spring read: Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco. (Tomatoes in chocolate cake are really good, but strange.) And though I don't remember a real recipe in the book, we always had to eat pancakes after reading this.

The season of baking is fast upon us. We just dropped Ruby off at the airport, but she will soon return home for winter break and more baking. We are all looking forward to her vegan versions inspired by this childhood favorite!

Portrait of the Baker as a Young Girl. 


  1. Lovely post – and it's not hard to see where she gets her creativity from, even if she's expressing it in different ways!

  2. Thanks! Mixing tasty ingredients and mixing paint colors have a lot in common I think!