The Spoils of Life

Hello all! It has been almost a full year since I have posted anything to this blog. As most of these situations go, a lot has happened in the last year, especially around August of last year, to warrant a full-scale drawback from this platform. I changed jobs, experienced heartbreak, moved, traveled a bit more and was generally not feeling creative or wanting to pursue any outside projects.

So I allowed myself time to come back to center and now I’m feeling more energized to experiment and create. However, I will be changing it up a bit. Last year I was creating my own recipes from scratch, mostly pastry recipes. I’m not in a very creatively minded place now but I do want to experiment, so I will be recreating recipes, mostly bread ones with some pastry smattered throughout, from my favorite cookbooks to try and expand my baking knowledge and knowhow.

I will be starting with A Baker’s Year by Tara Jensen. I admire her tenacity, strength, skill and determination to keep pushing and evolving, no matter what form that takes. As a woman in the bread baking world, I sometimes feel as if I am surrounded by widely talented older men who pioneered this bread culture and fervor, and it feels daunting to find a place in it for myself. I don’t see myself and my ambitions amongst them. Tara Jensen is a baker who I see a part of myself in. It’s not just the fact that she’s a woman, although representation is important. It’s that she has bolstered herself despite life’s turmoil to create something that someone like me can look up at and say, yes, that’s amazing and I can see myself in that, doing that work. She has carved out a life that’s amazing and awe-inspiring but also attainable. At least for what my ambitions are. 

We hear about the amazing bakers or anyone in our chosen field that are the taste makers and on the forefront of greatness, and for me, that is equally inspiring and debilitating. I’m just a regular person with a regular job trying to find purpose and excitement in my everyday life, looking at greatness constantly is tiring. Sometimes it’s nice to see a trajectory from someone else’s life and see it reflected in yours. The highs and lows, the stale outs, the heartbreaks, the creative funks, and the ambitious drive but no idea what to do with it or where to start. 

So this is my start (or new start if you count last year’s blog!). This is me saying I’m gonna try again. And I’m gonna keep trying no matter what. No matter how life goes. I will get up again and I will create something I’m proud of, even if it’s only the people who are around me see it. It’ll be mine.

So please feel free to leave me any of your baking questions or life questions, or suggestions of baking books to pursue and experiment with. Thank you for your time and hopefully you’ll find something in this hot mess of a blog and it’ll spark some of the same excitement.

Best,                                                                                                                                                     Zoe

a bit about me

Hello there!

My name is Zoe.

I am a baker.

I’m into bread, jam and butter and finding new ways to combine them. I work for a bakery, but it doesn’t allow me much of a creative outlet, so I decided to find my own way.

This blog will be my trials and tribulations of exploring my kitchen and taste buds. It will give me an excuse to spend too much money at farmer’s markets, all in the name of research of course.

I am also a scientist. I snagged a bachelors in Food Science, then I went to pastry school as a sort of graduate school substitution.

I love unpacking the science and history behind food and food culture, so this blog will be a mish-mash of all of the above. It will have recipes, food ramblings, history lessons, and detailed accounts on gluten and other foods that we all talk about, but do we really know what and who they are?

I hope you will find this blog well and meaningful, just as I will. I love to discuss food and bread with people, so please don’t hesitate to send in a question about why your cake isn’t rising or how long can you really keep that box of baking soda in the fridge. ARead More »