Crumb What May came about one sunny Sunday afternoon when I decided to bake some damn cookies...
Being an accomplished home baker, I confidently scoured the internet for the right recipe and landed on a delightful little write up for chocolate covered sugar cookies. I got all the ingredients together and started in on what I expected to end in chocolatey joy. One hour later: dough: meet trash. The loss was devastating. Sure, I could buy more chocolate, but the hour of Sunday time (which is valued much higher than weekday time) was something I could never get back. And that bruise to my ego sure did ache.
This was not the first culinary disaster to end up in my garbage can, and it will likely not be the last. But it got me sparked in me a desire to share my online recipe trials for the benefit of others.
So, I created Crumb What May: A place for home bakers that are tired of recipe roulette.
I orignally started out with a rating system and a whole concept that really spoke to my love of that sweet, sweet, data. But since starting this little blog my baking has gone from side hobby to career. Yes my little Crumblers, I am now a full on professional baker (which makes some of these earlier posts a little cringy), and as such my methods have changed a lot and my approach to baking is simultaneously more refined and more free-form. And with that change, this blog has also changed. I have moved further from my original concept of stringent rating systems and more toward just sharing the baking expierence and using all I’ve learned from my recent transition from novice to professional to make baking more accessible to everyone.
was born and raised in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri in a family of only 1 sibling, but a lot of cousins. My mother worked nights as a neonatal nurse, and therefore acted as the family babysitter for many of my (coincidentally female) cousins growing up as she was home during the day.
Our house was overrun by an ever-present pack of little girls, and as such, adventures in baking were commonplace. On more than one occasion my poor mother, who probably never slept more than 5 hours a day for the first 10 years of motherhood, was awakened by failed kitchen experiments. Such as the time my sister and cousin had tasted their first churro and decided to make their own, resulting in a house full of thick black smoke.
Although talented in many fields ( the woman can wield a hot glue gun like no one else!), my kitchen talents did not come from my mother. No, the cook in my family was definitely my father, and the baking came from my paternal grandmother.
Though she isn’t much into childish things, my Mema was quite happy to bake with us, and an accomplished baker she is. She would make elaborate and delicious meals for the family during her visits, always ending in some amazing, adorably vintage dessert, of which my grandfather was only allowed a single slice (that’s it, Jim! You already had one!).
Although St. Peters is where I was born, Chicago is my home. This city has fed my creativity like no other place could and I owe her all of my talents. There’s nothing like a craft brewery gastro-pub or a 100-year-old family bakery to spark the imagination and get the kitchen juices flowing. I dabbled in the kitchen throughout college, but since moving here in 2012 cooking and baking has been a big part of my life.
I’m sort of a socially awkward person and my kitchen skills have definitely made the necessary social interactions in life easier for me (a party where I’ll only know one person? I’ll bring brownies. New coworker in the office? I’ll bake cookies). Baking was even directly responsible for my marriage when upon reading my OkCupid profile, my husband just had to inquire about that bacon apple pie I mentioned. The way to a man’s heart, am I right?
My culinary adventures took a turn for the better in 2018 when I left the office life behind to pursue baking full time. I didn’t know what would happen, but I just had to try. I got my first culinary job as a pastry assistant at a downtown restaurant doing mostly plating and line work, and eventually moved my way up to Baker/Manager at my favorite local pie shop! I get to be creative with my work and make people happy with my food every day and it’s a dream come true!
So there you have it. Just a simple, self-taught baker sharing her thoughts on some sweet recipes to anyone who cares to listen.