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Cherishing Cherish Sweets!

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Hey there – if you’re looking for my recent treat obsessions, please find me at my new website and baker/blog identity:  Cherish Sweets.

My new blog can be found on the link below – just click and you’ll be back in a little slice of baking utopia:

www.cherishsweets.com

It’s the same format as paddle attachment always was….  I’m still hopelessly devoted to baking and the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid standing mixer(s).  I have two – a big and a little – and they’re still red.  But Cherish Sweets is all PINK and bit of chocolate brown.

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I am looking to expand my baking hobby into something more.  I’m not quite ready to license my home kitchen for commercial baking sales under Washington State law, but I’m getting close.  So I decided to first choose a company name and build a brand that evoked the happy anticipation of those beautiful, yummy treats reserved for cherished occasions.  Like weddings and birthday parties and babies (and weeknight wine nights, if you have at least one sweet tooth that resembles my whole set).

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The name, “Cherish Sweets” came from the deep brainstorming wells of three girlfriends road tripping their way across the state to attend a Madonna concert.  Talk of my baking dreams was on the agenda, as was surface analysis of Madonna’s classics, including – you guessed it – Cherish (sing along with me now, “cherish the love”).  Right then and there on I-90, I landed on the perfect name for the butter dough and confection sugar dusted place where my heart happily wanders and experiments.

A few weeks later, but long before I found a fabulous local graphic artist and web designer, Karli Ingersoll, who makes everything pretty and perfect, I found this cupcake ornament, a discounted leftover from a vintage sweets Christmas display in an antiques shop.  It’s single message spoke to me.

Please continue with me on this cherished (get it?) baking journey.  There’s a lot more sugar to obsess about!

Take care,

Kristina

 

 

 

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Little bitty house cookie

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As demonstrated by my childhood afternoons spent rearranging the miniature furniture in the doll house my Dad made in his spare time, I have always loved all things little bitty (kind of like Alan Jackson), especially if the collection of little things depicts a past I never knew, like a Victorian manor – or something magical – like a tiny fairy home carved out of a bright red toadstool, nestled safely in a grassy nook.

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This little cookie set (mushroom house with tiny winged homeowner) were wrapped cookie favors made to celebrate a 5 year old’s birthday.  I loved figuring out how to make and place the paned glass (apply the pane frosting first – as smoothly as possible – as expertly demonstrated by Mike at Semi Sweet).

From there, I outlined the window panes and door in brown and filled in with the gray base. When that was dry enough to handle, I added the red “roof,” varying the swoop on each cookie a bit, hoping to ultimately create a “field” of fairy houses.  I added the white spots immediately thereafter. Then, I added more powdered sugar to some green and purple frosting I had for flooding to get a piping consistency. Those icings were used to create the leaves and blooms flowing from the little bitty window boxes.

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The next morning – when all was dry – I added the sparkle to the fairy’s wings and wand.  I also added the gold luster paint to the “brass” handle and hinges on the door and brushed in the mushroom detail on the gray base with petal dust. Oh, magical petal dust – fitting for a little bitty fairy house – don’t you think?

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A little light

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Everything felt heavy all weekend with the news of the travesty at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And heavier still today with the return of the routine of school. I, like so many of us, stewarded my kids into familiar buildings, hand rails smooth and linoleum dipped from the slide of generations of small people all grown up now. When dropping my first grader off today, I paused before opening the van door, a second time while meeting the crossing guard – a fellow mom – and yet again when I turned away from my daughter in line awaiting the morning bell.

“Why did you come back?” she asked. Because you’re mine, I thought.

I didn’t say that, I just picked up the pink-striped-puffy coat, water bottle and just-right books whole of her, off the ground. Squeeze, repeat. Squeeze, repeat. But not forever.

As parents, we intend to release our children away from us and into the world in a slow, gradual manner.  A transition that day by day sucks the lifeblood from us. It’s as if the process of labor and birth cycles again and again. So much work goes into raising a child, which often begets intense connection, accomplishment, and joy:

Yay, you can wipe yourself without my help!

Yay, you can read!

Yay, you can play UNO without an open deck!

All of this makes these people our most important possessions. I can call her my precious, my beauty (which I do), or among my top four investments (there’s three other kids in the picture), but one thing for certain:  she’s mine.

And she can’t be gone. Not in a flash. Not ever. And that’s where we are with the deaths of the first graders at Sandy Hook. We’re on the lip of a dreadful chasm because they’ve fallen from us. From their parents, mostly. The dear, drained – aching parents – who have stepped into the chasm and are now searching for their children. But their children exist now in such a small space. In a heaven or in their parents’ memories, but not in the off the ground hugs of mom or dad, where they belong.

It must be the darkest place of all for a parent to be. Moonless black and beyond navigation. And endless, seemingly endless.

“Come back to me,” they must call. And lightness is so far away. This is where I’m stuck, and I imagine where some part of a parent who’s lost a child will always return. On the long road to life lived forevermore, a pant leg or a sweater will snag on the sharp thorns of permanent loss. And they’ll need light to come undone.

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