Sunday, March 2, 2014

also it snowed like, 8 times...

i’m soooo very behind.  but so much has happened.  i left off with Christmas, and shortly after that i was planning on posting these crosses for baby Ryder’s baptism, and some snowmen that are still on my phone's memory card, that were for the snowy end of December, i'll post them eventually... and then I had some super-M's to make for Mary Jo’s grandson Maddox’s super-hero-themed birthday, before heading to visit my dad for the last time.

i spent the whole project reflecting on my comic book loving father (who likely wouldn’t [and ultimately didn’t] see these M’s), and how i’ve been committed to this cookie life, and how my dad would kinda give me an elbow nudge after each well-made art project and tell me i could make money doing that.  nothing would have made Dad happier than to see me get rich, especially for cookies—anyone who knew our family knew that there was a mother-daughter team that made pretty awesome Christmas cookies, and we’d roll our eyes when he’d talk about how we should open a bakery and rake in cash.  so after i got these cookies in a bag, we had a real swell a banking oops, and Mary Jo’s payment was my only cash to go downtown.  (so much for riches.  yet.  thanks MJ)   Dad passed away January 10.  he was 66.  he is very missed.  then after the service, i took a deep breath and got back to the grind.  (building my cookie empire, and all that.)  
and then two St. Augustine grads were in love and in town, and the young lady’s mom, a drawing winner from November, requested some luv-bugs.  and then something extraordinary happened.  
backstory: last summer i discovered a little café in the library, and thought of how charming it would be to illustrate cookies for a building full of stories, or even just crank out buckets of chocolate chip cookies.  c’mon, books and cookies—it’s perfect.  i was hired, but worked at the East Dundee location, usually making sandwiches, and baking when i could.
then the extraordinary part.  at the beginning of February, the library location had a bit of a staff renovation.  they asked me to come in and i was told that A: in the scramble to get treats on the counter in time for a Black History Month event that weekend, anything i baked in East Dundee was brought to the library, and quickly sold out, so good job Katie; and B: i would be working from the library starting that Sunday, and would be the sole baker for all 3 locations.  and that i could bake whatever i want, and do my cookies, and that i should make a shopping list of everything i need to hit the ground running.  i swooned.  
my first project, strangely enough, was for a bring-your-own-hair-dryer themed event we catered at a salon.  i was told with very little time to complete it, so i did mini hearts on the side, because they dry faster, and when it came time to go, only the hearts were ready.  i renamed the glamour-girls “Rapunzel” and library patrons and staff found them adorable.  they were actually from a Pocahontas cookie cutter set--John Smith’s pioneer-mullet had a nice right angle to it, and made the perfect hair dryer.  they were quickly joined by froggy princes and heart balloons for Valentine’s Day.  those are also on my phone, sorry. they didn’t last long either.  [in fact nothing does.  brownies, cookies, Grandma’s Hello Dolly bars, banana bread, cupcakes, i’ve been crazy baking.  and I make “truffles.”  balls of different things dipped in chocolate.  the most popular is the super-simple s’mores version: a big marshmallow dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed graham crackers.  the men i work with say i cook with crack, and often use lewd vocabulary when expressing their enjoyment of my desserts.  so i’m doing something right.]
on Valentine’s Day itself i had aqua hearts with pink roses.  i didn’t get a picture, but they were inspired by the color scheme on my sister-in-law’s dress, and the roses were a simple 2 tone swirl like this [an upcoming post]. 
my next cookie goal is to get good at different rose techniques.  my goal after that is making In The Neighborhood Fresh the best darn cookie and coffee stop in Elgin.  and since i know that no goals are reached overnight, i’ll go get a good night’s sleep because i work tomorrow.  empire building and all that.  
 so i’ll close with another icon of an awkward fit waiting patiently to reach a potential, my most recent library project, lil’ mr. ugly duckling.  next, dresses and ballerinas…

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