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Showing posts from September, 2018

33rd Caldwell Kolache Festival

In 2013 and 2015, I was a judge at the Caldwell Kolache Festival. This year, because of baking so many kolaches in the last 2 months after starting a home-based cottage food business, I decided to enter the baking contest. Though I’ve only been in business since the end of July, the proceeds I’ve made from the business just barely exceeded the limit over which I am considered a “professional.”  Needless to say, baking in my apartment one pan at a time could not compete with the likes of Pearl Snap in Fort Worth (2018 Reserve Professional Grand Champion) and Zamykal Kolaches in Dallas (2018 Professional Grand Champion), both commercial bakeries cranking out huge (and huge numbers of) kolaches. I did not even place, but wasn’t surprised either.

The morning of the contest, I had my alarm set for 3:30 a.m. This was going to give me enough time to make dough for 48 kolaches, fill, and bake them, shower etc., while the dough was rising, get my 9 year old up and ready to go, and be out the…

Fairy Tales and Gingerbread

In the last few months, I’ve read a couple of books of fairy tales for grown ups--The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter and What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi. The latter is short stories actually, but many of them read like fairy tales, especially the very creepy “Dornička and the St. Martin’s Day Goose,” a strange retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf story, set in the present day. I bought the book after hearing a favorable NPR review and have been attracted to short stories lately, trying to balance my absolute love of reading with the fact that I have so little time to do it.
All I knew of the book was that it is a collection of stories built around the idea of keys and that the author is British. So I was greatly surprised when I got to the Dornička story, which began with a quote in Czech from the fairy tale “The Golden Spinning Wheel,” as told by Karol Jaromír Erben (a 19th-century Czech archivist and folklorist.) Oyeyemi’s story takes place …