Baking, Cookies, Cakes & Pies, Life

Finding Joy

A little school talk to start out the lesson today. (I am a teacher by trade, remember?) Two words have been swirling around my head as if, they too, are leaves dancing across the lawn as the wind picks up. Inspiration and emotion.

Inspiration: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions
Emotion: A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

How do these two words relate? What inspires you? Why am I drawn each week to various talk on all things food? Why do I get so excited to try out new recipes and understand the ‘why’ of it all. Recently, I was able to put a tiny part of this 1,000 piece puzzle together…for this answer I enrolled in a pie class…with Joy the Baker!


You can imagine I was super excited to get a spot in this class…it was being held at King Arthur Flour…a mere 10 minutes away. Wait, was I dreaming? If you remember my first attempt at meeting Joy was foiled. I was traveling to Montreal with Sweet Z that weekend, and she, unfortunately (or fortunately as it turns out!), had airline issues. I say serendipity had a hand this time around.

I was thrilled to have the chance to meet Joy and learn all about baking pies! I created a little something for her…a small thank you…it was how I was raised after all. ‘Always bring a little something,’ my Mom would tell me as I headed here or there. The same was true when I used to babysit as a teen: ‘Do the dishes, pick up the toys, and make sure things are straightened up before the parents get home,’ she would call as I was about to leave the house. I simply did as I was told. I figured that one day I would learn why. I am still waiting for the parent part of things…imagine, your house tidied up just a touch when you returned home from a night out?! (Do people still say tidied up? Does this word make me sound old?)

To prepare for my morning of pie class I baked cookies.

Browned Butter, Bourbon Spiced Cookies
Saturday morning rolled around…the BIG day. So I went to class…sort of like my normal day…except I was learning about pie crusts, rolling technique and the importance of unsalted butter. And, I was a student, not a teacher…which I LOVED!
Joy the Baker

We talked about pie. We talked about how amazing it is if you take a few extra steps to macerate sliced apples, boil down the juicy goodness and add that into your apple pie. We talked about food blogs. We talked about photo editing software. The whole experience was amazing! I was in absolute awe the entire time. This is Joy, after all! Now that I have had a day to let the experience settle I have realized this: Joy bakes because she loves to bake. She enjoys helping people – whether it be making a pie crust, rolling out said pie crust (ack – will it be tough and chewy?!), avocado fries, kale salad, boy talk, or real talk with Tracy at Shutterbean. She is genuine and willing to help. That is a great teacher, person and role model. Period.

Sweet potato pie filling..up next!

But, this day, I had TWO amazing things happening. I had class with Joy in the morning and then it was off to see Sharon Van Etten in concert that night. I first saw Sharon Van Etten at Newport Folk Festival this summer…and was captured with her music. Her interactions with her band was simply stunning, as is her voice, on that windy, rainy day in July.

Sharon Van Etten
It is almost like a ‘secret code’ sort of thing when musicians see other musicians. Looks between two band members look as though it is nothing to the non-musician…but the unspoken words between them ‘speak’ volumes!
I found joy this weekend. Literally…and figuratively. Joy in baking, joy in listening, joy in talking, joy in eating pie with a side of coffee for breakfast with Sweet Z, and joy in just being me. And when one feels joy, one feels happiness (for this I give huge thanks), lightness and a readiness to move forward! So this post is a thank you to Joy the Baker and Ms. Sharon Van Etten…your words, songs, stories, and thoughts have inspired me to do more, reach out, and take a few chances. Thank you for reading and have a great start to the week!
Finding Joy
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4 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. What an amazing experience! As soon as i got home from BBBos I checked my schedule and found my daughter was having her first tea party. I couldn’t deny here that, but oh how I wish I could have met Joy and gotten over my fear of pies 🙂

  2. Hi Maeghan! It was a fantastic experience! A tea party for kids?? Sounds totally fun!!!! PS-Check out Joy’s blog post on the apple pie we tackled in class! It will help you through!

  3. I love those days! The days that are just full to the brim of stuff YOU like and love. You don’t really get that many but I’m glad you got one and enjoyed it to the fullest!

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