HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Fennel

Fennel as you’ve never seen it!

I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year and I hope it is your best year ever.

2013 saw a lot of changes in my life, some for the best, some not so much but my husband and I are grateful for each other, our children and grandchildren and I am personally so very grateful for all of you who read my blog.

I blog out of a deep sense of sharing what I have learned in over a quarter of a century of professional baking.  As a child, I hated eating and the one sure thing my mother could get to to eat was anything sweet.  I learned a lot from her and my grandmother, although at the time I surely didn’t care about cooking and baking.  I was a constant companion to my older brother and preferred football to the kitchen.  Being very small at the time, I was known to be a mean kicker!!!  My mother used to tell me how she would get a brush or comb within an inch of my head and I was already yelling about how much it hurt.  Needless to say, I wasn’t keen on the banana curls!

I’m not sure how to describe my growing up years.   We didn’t have money, but I never felt “poor”.  I wore hand-me-downs from a neighbor girl up the street (maybe that’s why I studied dress design in college!!) and we didn’t take vacations are go anywhere very much.  My father decided to switch careers from chemical engineering to pharmacy after my brother, myself and my sister were born.  He taught chemistry at the College of Pharmacy for his tuition and my mother boarded 16 people for dinner during the weeknights and Sunday lunch to pay the household bills.  Two teachers also lived with us.  But I remember it as a happy childhood as I trailed after my brother playing whiffle ball, football, climbing trees to reach for the ripest cherries at the end of the branch.  I also remember falling from that tree and into a rose bush.  I have two scars just above my left kneed that time has nearly erased.

What I did have in abundance, which I didn’t appreciate, was really good food around me.  My mother made croissant, schaum tortes, baklava and all sorts of wonderful savory as well as sweet food all the time.  One of my best memories was walking up the short alley to the back gate to my house and smelling the bread she just made wafting down the walk to greet me.  I would run for the back door where she would greet me and cut me a thick slice of the warm loaf and sprinkle it with sugar.

I have been asked if I would like to go back in time.  My answer has always been, “not unless I can take everything I know now with me”.  My mother died very close to my age now of complications of Altzheimer’s.  I sure wish she could see me now!!

So in 2014, I encourage you to look around at everyone and everything as though you may not see them or it for very long.  Appreciate the kindness shown you by others and chalk up the rudeness of some to their having a bad day to which you don’t want to contribute by making it worse for them.

I appreciate every comment and every visit and look forward to a year filled with both of them.

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Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post.

11 thoughts on “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

  1. Kim

    I am so happy I found your blog and have had the opportunity to learn from you in different venues. You are an inspiration! Have a blessed new year and thanks for the reminders.

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