Aha Moment I:

The birth of my younger brother actually facilitated the most profound compliment that I had ever received up to that time. I was seven years old. My mom was at a hospital giving birth to my baby brother, Randy. I stayed t my dad’s Aunt Jeanette’s house while my sister stayed with one of my mom’s twin sisters, Evelyn.( My sister, Linda, most likely had a great time at Evelyn’s because I think that Linda was her favorite niece.)

Dad’s Aunt Jeanette had three sons, in fact, the oldest was married at that time. Now looking back I wonder if maybe she enjoyed baking sugar cookies with me because I was a daughter substitute. The big deal was that I remember ending up with a  huge box of cookies—undecorated though they were—that were going to be given to my mom at some point soon.

The moment that is ingrained in my memory to this day was Jeanette saying to me that the rolled sugar cookies looked like an adult made them!! I think that it is interesting that we influence others and we are not even aware of it. My dad’s aunt gave me a precious gift that day. I actually began my interest in baking and cooking from that time forward.

Aha Moment II:

My second deeply affecting moment occurred in grade six. Let’s see– how old are you then—age eleven or twelve? Anyway a girlfriend was moving away. Another friend, Sharon, brought a small pink dessert box containing a goodbye gift prepared by her mom. When the box was opened we saw that it contained a perfect, smoothly- iced cake with perfect little blue flower clusters punctuated with miniature green leaves. The tiny black block- printed message read, “forget-me-not.” (The “f “ was lower case.)  Well -something within me snapped! I thought to myself that it was so incredible to be able to make something so personal and creative in the form of a decorated cake! I began to teach myself immediately. (There is a second part of this story a couple of years later which I will explain at a more pertinent time.)

Aha Moment III:

Another profound experience that helped to shape my professional career choice occurred when my eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Gilson, asked me to teach penmanship to my classmates. Who knows her motivation for that day? Nevertheless, I realized that I enjoyed teaching others so much that I actually decided to become a home economics teacher that year! I put teacher together with my passions for baking, cooking and home.

Some people have told me that it is unusual for someone so young to decide on a career goal. Nine years later I graduated college with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education/English Minor. One year after that I earned my first teaching credential. I have been lucky and always encourage all of my students to choose a career path that supports their passions.

To Be Continued…..

Chef Susan's 52 Secrets of Perfect Baking & Cake Decorating


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