Friday, May 6, 2016

Hello from Petite Pops!

Hello from Petite Pops - where good eats rule, and smiles are always cool!

This little post is so belated, but I have good reason.

I've always struggled with the 'About Me' writeup. Who really wants to know what I had for breakfast, and do people care that I love chocolate by the boatloads?

There's such a fine line between active involvement and over-sharing, for a while I was wary of stepping in. And there's another bigger reason - what is my story?

I didn't want an essay out there with no point to make, no story to tell.
I was on a journey of searching for a bit.

To start way back....
I wasn't born with a sweet tooth, and was a rather skinny child. Every meal then was a long-drawn torture for me and whomever was unfortunate enough to be my designated meal-enforcer for the day.

Such a chore.

But I finally outgrew that absurdity when I got to university.
I came to my senses. What took me so long??

The social aspect of adult life kicked in, and I started appreciating the role of food in bringing people together. We made time for family over a meal, catching up with friends was always over some excuse for food - brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, supper.
Eating with family: Lazy-day Bread

Ask anyone to list the first 5 words they've learnt in a foreign language - chances are, they'd be of food. Or swear words. Equally versatile.

The biggest excitement of food though, is usually over dessert.

There IS good reason why birthdays are celebrated with cakes. Desserts bring out the happiest in people, and just like the good Julia Child said," A party without cake is just a meeting."

Wise words.

I bake for the happy-ness, for the smiles.

In my recent years, I've learnt to be kinder to my body + soul. Wellness has made its stamp on my personal life and choices, and my bakes have followed suit.
> Make your own Maple Ginger Cider Switchel

Many of us don't need to be vegan or completely gluten-free. What we do need - is to eat well, eat real foods, eat happy.

In my travels, I've crossed paths with so many passionate bakers and chefs, and the mind-sweeping magic that beautiful produce creates. While we don't get as much fresh fruit, creamy milk or beautiful flowers here as many other countries do, we can do our part by eating good foods.

But let's be real, too.

Food has got to taste good to be a sustainable lifestyle, no one likes chewing on cardboard all day even if it's good for you.

So my bakes are really about balance, a little naughty, a little nice. No funny stuff, more natural ingredients, less sugars and fats where possible.

Traveling has also opened my eyes to the artisans of today.

Just as mass production has paved the way for efficiency, there are as many small-scale crafts people putting out marvellous pieces of work, cooking and baking amazing foods and desserts.

It's a tougher path to walk, but I've been so inspired by the dedication of crafts people all over the world, and the belief in creating respect and joy in life. I practice small batch baking, when orders come in, to help keep quality in check. I don't add preservatives to my bakes, and avoid ingredients that are unpronounceable - the #1 giveaway of chemically made/preserved/altered foods.

I still do happy-day cakes, they just complete a birthday or celebration in a way nothing else can. But my first love is in balanced snacks, bakes that are good for a sane, sustainable way of living and eating happy.

Life doesn't have to be about extremes. Love what you eat, laugh a lot, and life generally looks rosier, even on the tougher days.

Now I've figured out my journey a little better, and I think there's a little more sense behind my baking.

I hope you'll join me in having your cake and eating it. Here's to being a healthy badass!

"Today you are you that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You!" 
                                                                                                         - Dr. Seuss