Oatmeal and French Toast [My Story, Part 1]

NaomiChef

Okay: Apple Butter simmering on the stove, hot coffee in hand, and feet propped up for writing – I think I’m ready to start telling this story.

I recently mentioned that I wanted to share about some of my journey making cakes, and well… Thinking about it, I realized I kind of need to go back a little bit and give you a framework for who I am before I dive too deep into that story.

Blogs are interesting; you can know all about what a person likes to do without knowing them personally at all. And, while it’s true that if you don’t know me *in* person, you won’t really know me personally – I’d like to share a little bit of who I am and where I come from so that this story can make the most sense.

As you may know from the About Me section of this blog, I grew up in a large family (12 kids – 10 girls, 2 boys), and I was homeschooled all the way through.

One unique thing about my homeschool experience is that my dad, being an Entrepreneur, told us that in order to graduate high school, we each had to start and run a business for some period of time. I believe the purpose of that was to learn how to make our interests/skills into an opportunity for income, to market our products, to manage our money, to work with people, etc.

And so, businesses were born. Many, many business – My oldest sister Rachel became an author/editor (which she now does full-time), my second eldest sister Becky took up baking and then web design (see figgieshoes.com for an example of her most recent work- Which is also for another sister’s business), two other sisters co-started my family’s current business (Sweet Somethings Chocolate – [website by Becky]), and… well you get the picture. My business, which is a story I will eventually get to, was Silver Spoon Cakes (website also designed by Becky).

I took an interest in cooking and baking at the age of 4-5. I remember watching my mom cutting up a cucumber for salad and begging her (persistently) to let me do it. She was *very* hesitant, but after much  convincing… somehow, I got permission with a stern charge of “You be SO careful with this knife!” Under her careful supervision, I promptly cut myself.

Fast-forward a year or so, I remember wanting to make snacks for the family. Mom wasn’t about to let me cook anything, but she let me butter a bunch of corn tortillas, and give them out to my siblings. A little more cautious than cutting a cucumber. 😉 I was very elated at that opportunity. It stands out as a clear memory because I was so happy to be allowed to do that.

A couple of years after that, I was confident that I could cook, bake, and who-knows what. I remember when I was 8, asking Mom to teach me how to make oatmeal on one occasion, and then french toast shortly afterward – and so I became very pleased with myself, and confident that stoves and ovens were well within my skill-set to master. From there, I learned scrambled eggs and sugar cookies – And then a few years after that, I learned some more basic cooking skills, Simple Pie Pastry, and Easy French Bread, which I’ve shared with you on here in days past. Those are some great go-to simple recipes (which I managed to make at the age of 12, so I’m confident you can do it too).

Fast-foward to 16 years of age, when I found The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating in a book store, and realized that the perfect business idea for my high school graduation had landed into my lap. “I could make cakes,” I thought – and after purchasing the book, I decided that I would make cakes.

To Be Continued…

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