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Old 12-31-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
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I'm a kitchen dork, an introduction and some dorky excitment

Hi, I'm Jamie. I have five kids at home, three dogs (two rescues), and two cats (one a stray/feral that we helped and one a rescue). My kids range in age from almost 16 years to 14 1/2 months. Since this is Diaper Swappers I'll add that we've been CDing since October 2009 and over that time have had three in cloth diapers. Currently, our youngest, Noah, is the only one in cloth diapers. We live in the Southern Tier of New York where we own a small business.

I was raised by a mom that loved to take short cuts and cook from boxes when I was growing up. She became sick when I was about 8 and was in and out of the hospital for a few years. When I became old enough to stay at home I stopped getting shuffled around when my mother was in the hospital and stayed at home by myself. Part of that included cooking for myself and followed in my mother's foot steps with shortcuts and boxed stuff partly because that's what I knew and partly because that's what we had in the house.

Long story short, it wasn't until B and I got together in 2003 that I really started trying with cooking. Eventually me cooking from scratch became the norm as did hunting down new recipes instead of making the same dozen or so dishes I knew like the back of my hand.

We moved from nice warm NC back to his hometown in New York in 2008, and in 2009 we moved into our house. That winter (the first "real", frigid, snowy winter I remembered) I started baking because I needed to feel like I was doing something stuck in the house and it was cheaper than buying boxed or pre-made, and the ingredients were easily attainable. It was something I could do to help the family, something that I could do with the kids home, and even have the kids participate in.

In January 2011 we opened a café. I offered to bake some stuff (cheaper, fresher), instead of him having to source product from somewhere else, and it told me no and it boiled down to me not being good enough. If you all knew me you'd know that as an adult I'm pretty motivated and will keep after something until I accomplish it, even if I have to put it to the back burner for a while. Well, when he told me I wasn't good enough to sell it really motivated me and since then I've been delving deeper into baked goods and things. I'm happy to say that we now sell "my" stuff at our cafe and as time goes on I'm baking more and we're selling more. I've even created a couple of my own recipes, or taken another recipe and revamped it to make it better.

For Christmas I asked for mostly kitchen stuff. I wanted ramekins because Creme Bruleé is on my list of things to master. I wanted a mandoline so I could make our own potato chips (and other things) instead of buying, and other random kitchen stuff like more timers. My mother and step-dad got me ramekins for one gift and an amazon.com gift card for another (because I have two wish lists-one is baking stuff I'd like to have and the other is non-baking stuff I'd like to have). My MIL and FIL got me the mandoline as one gift, and B got me more little kitchen stuff.

With the gift card from my mom I got a pretty good start on my cake and cupcake decorating stuff including tips, piping bags, instruction booklet, and some other stuff. I want to master the art of the cupcake. I'm not interested in becoming those people on "Cupcake Wars" I just want to make a cupcake that tastes good and looks appealing. I don't see myself crafting little fondant people or what not, haha, I like to K.I.S.S. and keep it real, because that reflects me. I know two cliches in one long post-bad me-haha!

I'm excited because I've been ordering stuff from my Amazon Wish Lists a little at a time but over Christmas week I went and purchased a good chunk of it here and there. It should start arriving today and through the rest of this week. The stuff I ordered is for doughnuts, candy stick making, cannoli (after candy sticks and doughnuts I want to learn how to make a cannoli). I also have some miscellaneous kitchen stuff that I needed, like an oven thermometer and more spatulas and mixing bowls, or things that can serve multiple purposes because I'm all about being practical and working efficiently.

I never thought I would be so excited to get stuff that had to to with the kitchen but I am. Someone actually told me recently, while I was baking at the biz, that I seemed happy doing it.

I think I'm doing pretty good being self taught, with no formal training or experience. Would I stand a chance in fine dining? Heck no, but that's not what I'm about-save that field for someone else. I'm about simple things that people love, making them taste good, and presenting them in a way that looks good. Plus, being that we're in a small town there is no where local to fresh doughnuts. Heck, all the things I bake from scratch are only sold at the café. I think I've carved out a nice little niche in the market that could potentially stand on it's own two feet eventually if I wanted to go down that road when I was more experienced.

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JAMIE: Blessed, spunky, kinda crunchy, attached mama to 5.
Firefighter & EMT in training. In love with my firefighter.
BABY GIRL DUE IN JANUARY!

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