In 2017, We learned a bunch!

When I began teaching baking and decorating classes, I had no idea how much I would learn! In 2017, I branched out from being a vendor at a local farmer’s market and a bespoke baker and began teaching public and private classes.

While I continue to teach  decorating at Michael’s using the Wilton Method,  I have made the progression to teach baking, confectionery and a series of beginner baking classes; called Next-Generation-Baker.  It’s on the class information page.

In 2017, we learned to make pies, homemade candy corn, caramel apples and decorated gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. We made cupcake bouquets, mother’s day cupcake flowers, father’s day craw-daddy cupcakes, pie filling, witch brooms and shoes and black cats. We made small-tall cakes decorated with purple Louisiana Iris and cakes decorated with succulents. We torted, filled and frosted cakes and cupcakes.

I attended a baking workshop at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont.  I took classes on how to make the flakiest pie crust and the tastiest filling, temper chocolate and make truffles and ganache and how to choose the right chocolate for a recipe.

What is my take-a-way in 2017? I learn from doing and what I love to do is teach. When you teach a person to bake, you give them life and social skills and they attain self-confidence through their ability to bake.  What is learned in baking goes far beyond the kitchen walls.  Bakers not only bake for themselves, but also bake for others. When a person, especially a young person, bakes for their family and friends, they are sharing a part of themselves – their love of baking- through communication that is personal, one-on-one, face-to-face; not electronic.

We learned a bunch in 2017 and we’re sharing our love…

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Buttercream, Roses and Maria

My love for buttercream began many years ago, long before I become a Wilton Method Instructor. It started with Maria.

I was looking, really more like desperately searching for something to fill my time.  My one and only son had enlisted in the USMC and was off to boot camp. I spent my time taking care of him up to now and now what…

One afternoon, instead of going straight home after work, I decided to stop at my local Michael’s store. I was not looking for anything in particular, just looking to kill time. As I entered the store,  I noticed a group of people gathered around a small table. Standing behind the table was a lady holding a cupcake. My interest was piqued as I have always been fond of cupcakes. Anyway, the lady, who I would later know and admire, was Maria.  Maria was the Wilton Method Cake Decorator and was demonstrating the art, yes I said art of decorating with buttercream. While Maria was explaining in great detail about the piping tip, angle of bag, blah, blah, the only thing I was aware was she was creating a beautiful red roses made for buttercream right before my eyes. How did she do that- is this something I could do – I was hooked – where do I sign up? 

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My Wilton Method Decorating Demo

I signed up and took every class. Maria was very kind and a very patient teacher and a genuinely nice person. After the other students left, Maria would stay with me –  patiently watching me make butercream roses. “Breathe,” she would say as I held my breath while piping each petal. “Relax, it’s your rose.” It’s funny, today when teaching I tell my students the same. Maria taught me patience and understanding and it really is “your rose.”  It was Maria who encouraged me to become a Wilton Method Instructor and my heart thanks her before every class.  I don’t know where Maria is today or if she is still teaching, but I hope so.  I hope she is still stands behind a small table demonstrating the art of making beautiful buttercream roses inspiring others to take her class and changing the lives of people who were just looking to kill time.