Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Welcome the October 2021 issue of Betterbaking.com!
I trust you have all been well and you’re ready to greet the heart of fall on this fine October day.
I’ve spent the last few weeks being busy baking beautiful things as well as jamming and transitioning my home into an autumnal mood. The former require lots of visits to the outdoor markets, bringing home gluts of fruit to bake and preserve with as well as pumpkins for décor. The latter involves trips to Home Sense (Canada's TJ Max) and foraging for stray, late-season flowers in the (unwittingly) generous fields in my neighbourhood. This ‘thing’ (aka, the pandemic) has only accentuated the nester in me and the surplus of scented candles in my laundry room is emphatic proof. My new thing is every other month or so I suss out a new brand of candles to experiment with. I love Yankee Candle as well as Bath and Body but I also feel it’s good to spread my fragrance funds to smaller entrepreneurs to support them as well as expand my horizons.
As far as décor goes, I’ve always changed my home to mark seasonal shifts. When my kids were young, I did it to perk up our moods and ease us into a new season, noting the little changes each month brings. Little enhancements go a long way in setting an ambience but they needn’t be expensive. This photo above is all gathered items: gifts from friends, a $10 Facebook Marketplace tiled vase, dried flowers from the Dollar Store, a few baby pumpkins, courtesy of famed Jean Talon Market here in Montreal and the gorgeous velveteen runner is a loan from April Cornell who knows florals better than anyone, except Nature itself (him/her/he/she/it).
This month I've also been putting the finishing touches on my newest cookbook, The Baker’s Dozen Best Scones. I’m taking all the photos at this point and then next stage is book production! Publishing should follow soon after. As I re-test the scones in order to shoot them I am blown away by my own recipes. Each is so different and so mouth-watering which is to say, I can’t wait to share this new cookbook with you. I'm not so much patting myself on the back as noting for the umpteeth time that baking is amazing. It fascinates me how many diverse and delicious things can be born of the same elements.
Yes, it’s October and I’m thinking Beer Fest (on the deck), Canadian Thanksgiving (probably en famille but in the garage), Halloween (we’ll see) and coffee with friends (take out and then head to the park, distance 6 feet apart and then masks can finally come off). Ok, so I'm a bit crotchety with the altered state of socializing which has morphed to the new state of socializing. Things never really return to where they were. So I wonder when this thing finally putters out, and it will, who and what I’ll 'be' next. Do you? One thing I'm certain about however is that I’ll still be baking because for me baking is neither pandemic-inspired nor seasonal. It’s one of those marriages that goes the distance.
Happy October, happy Canadian Thanksgiving or whatever you’re celebrating, even if that means just coping. In my book, that’s also worth a salute in my book.
Warm thoughts from my kitchen to your kitchen, however far it may be from mine in miles it still feels close in sentiment.
Author, Master Baker
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