1. Not professional; not pertaining to or characteristic of a profession.

  2. At variance with or contrary to professional standards or ethics; not befitting members of a profession, as language, behavior or conduct.

  3. Not belonging to a profession; nonprofessional.

Source: dictionary.com I could have said “novice” or “nonprofessional”, but I describe myself as “unprofessional” because I am unprofessional by definition.  I don’t bake for a living.  Language, behavior and conduct? Totally unprofessional.  I can be a certified sick-o with a twisted sense of humor.

Kitchen? Not an up-to-code, certified “clean” kitchen.  Though I think my borderline OCD and obsession with dishtowels ensures my workspace is a lot cleaner than some of the professional workspaces out there, despite the fact that I have 2 Labs who relish in licking spilled sugar and frosting off the kitchen floor.

Key Ingredients:

I was born and raised in Hawaii, on the island of Maui, in the tiny town of Haiku.   No, we didn’t wear hula skirts or live in grass huts.  Yes, we had real bathrooms.  At my mom’s side, I was an avid gardener, nature lover and pet-fanatic, who enjoyed getting grubby in the dirt as much as I enjoyed getting grubby in the kitchen. My how things have changed… I still enjoy gardening, but am not a fan of being in the “dangers” of nature for very long.  I prefer getting covered in frosting and edible glitter to dirt and mud in the backyard, but am OK with it once in a while. I currently live in Pacifica, CA with The Husband and 2 dogs–Peanut and Azuki.  On a clear day, you can see the Farlalon islands from my front yard, and on a crappy day, you can see me inside, in my blankets, cuddling with the dogs.

Letting the Dough Rise:

I have been cooking and baking since before I could truly reach the counter top.  My mom had a stool for me that was aptly named “Jenny’s Stool” so I could help her in the kitchen. I just laughed out loud typing “Jenny’s Stool” –I told you, I’m sick.  She taught me kitchen basics, cleanliness, and inadvertently to be hyper-critical of my efforts.  Mom was and is an amazing, experimental, use-what-you-got kind of cook.  She taught me to knead bread, make tortillas, how to substitute ingredients when you had the wrong stuff, and never be afraid to modify.

I learned from her that cooking and baking, while science, is still a fluid art form.  She taught me to cook with my senses, not just according to the recipes.  To this day, I prefer to do things by hand so I can “feel” if the dough or batter is the right consistency.  At an early age, I learned how to handle myself in the kitchen, and by the time I was in grade school, I was helping her whenever possible, learning along the way. Mom was and is a “from scratch” cook and baker, and so am I.

There are some things that taste better when bought or made from a box, and I can appreciate all things food, no matter what, but I take pride in the fact that I can make a lot of things from scratch and prefer to do so.  I like to have full control of the flavor and what goes on in my kitchen and into the food I make.   I completely see the value in store-bought marzipan, fondant and gum paste.  I will never make fondant again– what a pain in the ass.  But I will always try to make something at least once, on my own just to see if I can do it or if it tastes better. I inherited Grandma’s recipes and cookbooks, and one of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten was from my cousin who said that something I made was “just like Grandma’s”.  I love full-color pictured in cookbooks (aka food porn) and get inspired by food, flavors and watching the Food Network.  Oftentimes, discussions with friends at dinner or lunch are actually about food while we’re eating.  Ahh, the gluttony.

Bake Until Golden Brown

I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to do this for a living, as baker’s hours are too early for me (I’m soo not a morning person– I’m a night-owl as you’ll see form the time stamps on my posts.)  I don’t have confidence that I could create beauty on command.  If I take on a paid project, it’s through word of mouth only– as I said above, I do not have a licensed kitchen–and in truth you may find a dog hair from time to time despite my cleanliness.  And of course, I tend to under-sell myself and my abilities because, well, I’m unprofessional.

Bear cookie

Read more! The Story Behind CAKEooh

Contact Info:

Feel free to comment on my blog, write me, or send pictures! You can email me at jc@jlkching.wpcomstaging.com

One Response

  1. I love this page, complete with the sequence of (OMG!) UNPROFESSIONAL homemade birthday cakes! It goes to show that when it comes to baking, all you need is love.

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