My name is Jodi. I have a son and a husband and a little pink house on Short Street in Asheville, NC. I've been a butcher, a baker, and a candle-stick maker (no, really. I have.) I've been an activist for alot of my life. I've been a pizza driver, a social worker, a camp counselor, and once I had a job dealing blackjack at casino parties in Atlanta. I've been a waitress. ALOT. Apparently now I'm a "blogger." But most of all I've been a baker.
I, in fact, have a bakery in my house. It is called Short Street Cakes. I started it when Jasper (my son) was 3 months old, because people kept asking me to make cakes for them. After the 3rd unsolicited wedding cake job, I thought to myself, "what if I actually TRIED to work for myself as a cake baker? what would happen then?" Thus, Short Street Cakes was born. I still work out of my kitchen, on Short Street, with various children and other vermin underfoot. (Just kidding about the vermin. I love children and my kitchen is impeccably clean.) I make wedding cakes, ALOT of birthday cakes, cupcakes, and I sell frozen cakes to greenlife grocery. I work in the early mornings, before Duncan (my husband) goes to work, I bake at night after bedtime. I bake with the little guy sometimes, but it takes the whole process into a different realm- and goes really slow, so I try to avoid it. Anyway, there will be more on all of that later.
So: my life in cake. This is how my life in cake started: I used to bake bread when I lived in Athens, GA. They were these terrible bricks of gluten, that my friends graciously pretended to enjoy. Then I got a job as a professional baker when I lived in Boston, from 1999 to 2001, baking bread in the Haley House Soup Kitchen/job training program. It was basically a social work job that required me to learn how to be a baker in order to teach people job skills through baking. That's where it started. Monica Contois taught me everything I know. Then I moved to Asheville, and worked at the West End, where Cathy Cleary and April Moon taught me everything I know. It was also in Asheville that I first met Elyse Manning, who taught me everything I know. Elyse is a force of nature in the kitchen, a terrible witchy mess of a mind-blowing baker. She's a legend. Whenever I'm stuck, having trouble with an icing that won't set right or a wedding that's starting too soon, I hear Elyse's voice, telling me to ease up, and let the cake be itself.
I have a website (www.shortstreetcakes.com), and a brochure, and fancy business cards that Michael Frey made for me. I have big dreams too, of lots of good cake for the people of asheville. it involves buying lots of eggs and flour and fruits from local farmers. It involves meeting, befriending, baking for, and working with lots of people that I would otherwise not know, and whom, furthermore, I LIKE. It involves the hope of making a living at my craft. It involves integrating many different parts of myself, my past, my ancestors, my friends, my future, my family, my values, and my love of cake. It involves transformation (of the firey kind). Cake is art: its the the little extra that you don't "need" but that makes life sweet. Cake is the celebration, the sacrificial lamb at the feast. Cake is my medium and my muse and it reminds everybody of their mama. So, this is my blog: my life in cake.
Look out for pictures, experiments, recipes, cookbook reviews, anectdotes, and general cake-related hilarity. I plan to spend LOTS of time procrastinating quickbooks here. Also, I look forward to meeting other cake-minded peeps.
happy new year, to my newfound friend, the "blogosphere."
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