Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cupcake Camp Boston

April is a big month for me due to two big events - one being obviously the Boston Beer and Bacon Festival that I haven't stopped talking about for a week and the other being Cupcake Camp Boston! 

I'll be participating as an amateur baker this year which means I'll be showing up with my hands full of cupcakes! You can read more on the official Cupcake Camp Boston blog, where all of the professional bakers and some of the amateur bakers (including me!) are profiled.

Writing out that profile had me thinking about my baking history and what prompted me to start baking - be warned, it's not quite as inspiring as what started me reading seriously in the third grade (a free Burger King lunch to the student who read the most books in a month). But I guess you can say, my life has always been driven by food in some way or another!
  • You'll notice in the profile, I mention that I've been baking since the 5th grade.  I just realized I was wrong about this. Having grown up on different Army bases overseas for most of my life, I realized we lived in Hawaii when I was in the 5th grade, and there was nothing about that tropical climate that motivated me to bake! I will amend my statement here to reflect the 6th grade, which is when we moved back to Taegu, Korea. 
  • My parents may have better memories, but the first time I remember trying my hand at baking was creating cupcakes (box mix - I believe chocolate with vanilla canned icing) for a book report on Egypt.  My attempt to create pyramids (note: which are three dimensional, distinctive landmarks) was in the form of: three red hots.  Arranged in a triangle.  Um, perhaps not as inspiring as the real thing?   I have a fuzzy memory of another book report and another batch of cupcakes, and then my piece de resistance - Swedish Nut Wafers for a book report on Sweden, using my dad's beat up copy of the Fannie Farmer cookbook.
  • The reason I really started baking was because it was something my mom wasn't good at. Don't get me wrong, she's an awesome cook of Korean food, but the most I remember her baking was the aforementioned cake mix cupcakes. Which I think is incredible, since she didn't grow up eating the same kind of junk food that we Americans are used to! So I always tell people, I ended up baking because my mom was bad at it (I still love you mom!)
  • I remember making brownies in middle school that clearly had too much oil in them because they came out undercooked, gooey and gushing oil. I'm talking geysers of oil. But this is also a fond memory because I remember my dad trying to choke down a piece of this while praising it.  That's what I call a father's love!
  • High school, most of the baking I did was restricted just to using mixes from bake sales. However, I do remember one of my only cooking attempts (chicken noodle casserole) for a Yearbook potluck going awry when my mom accidntally stored the casserole in a tupperware container that had previously been used for kimchi.  Yes, ladies and gentleman, kimchi is so potent that even after it's been scrubbed from a container, the flavor will still permeate what's stored in said container.  Kimchi noodle casserole just doesn't have the same ring to it. I like to compare it to what I know about Kosher eating, once you use certain containers for making/storing kimchi, you can only use them for that one purpose to avoid cross-contamination.
To be continued tomorrow since I am the queen of over-writing and run-on sentences (and overuse of parantheses)... :)

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