I’m glad you’re here for another Sunday.
This week marks thirteen years of Joy the Baker. I started Joy the Baker in January 2008 on a borrowed laptop with a borrowed camera (thank you, Michael) while I was working the 4am shift at a bakery in Burbank, California. Even then I was trying to make a business for myself, though certainly not with my blog. I was baking on the side for local coffee shops and selling my muffins and scones by the dozen. It was a teeny tiny operation but I sure made a mean cranberry orange scone. When I think back to that time, I think about the hard work more than the struggle. I think about my sore hands and full heart. I think about how tight money was though Los Angeles will get anyone in that way.
Thirteen years ago I didn’t even know what to aspire to in creating a little blog online. I didn’t know that I could dream up cookbooks, events, a magazine, an entire Bakehouse, and an incredibly generous community in you all. For the years, actual years, when only a handful of readers baked my recipes, I chugged along because I loved this space even as a little diary. This place has been a constant for me and I feel so fortunate that you’re here to share it with me. Thank you!
As I scroll through my old posts, you know… the really old stuff, I can see how much I was learning and trying to figure out – in and out of the kitchen. I think those of you who have been here for years were also in those growth moments and I’m thankful we were in it together. Spolier alert: we’re still in those growth moments. I always will be.
Some of my favorite recipes from way back when: Creme Fraiche Quiche and Cookie No-Dough Ice Cream.
I want to make sure you know how deeply grateful I am that you chose to be here and bake through life with me. You mean a lot to me.
The offering this week is below. There are some heavy topics here, but we live in heavy, troubling times. I hope you find a few things that serve you. Take only what you need:
• These are strong words about our current circumstance. Count me among those deeply worried about our democracy. “When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves.” The American Abyss (The New York Times)
• You can read the articles of impeachment here. They are short and to the point. (CNN)
• In case you’re looking for other business models to try out, turns out franchising a fast food restaurant is ‘spensive! Ok dang! Why it only costs 10k to own a Chik Fil-A franchise. ( The Hustle)
• This week I threw myself down a decidedly unhelpful rabbit hole trying to decipher the best average consumer mask choice. It’s really difficult to know whats legit. Why Aren’t We Wearing Better Masks? (The Atlantic)
• Related: How will you actually know when it’s your turn to get to COVID vaccine? Short answer: good luck. (Fast Company)
• I decided last year to really throw myself into the idea of being a grown up novice. I bought a piano and have taught myself to play. This year we have tennis and swimming lessons on the docket. Let me be the first to tell you that being a grown-up novice is uncomfortable and humbling and is an excellent ego check. 10/10 recommend. How I Learned To Surf In Middle Age (Outside Magazine)
• The Kitchn reviewed my recipe for Everybody’s Birthday Cake. They weren’t impressed by the cake (ok y’all thanks for the feedback). But I’ll tell you what – that chocolate frosting slaps. All of this to say, it’s time for a birthday cake refresh and a chocolate version on Joy the Baker. Soon! (The Kitchn)
• I’m making a batch of Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves (and stevia) this week. (Joy the Baker)
• We have to fun virtual classes coming up at The Bakehouse soon! For Valentine’s Day we’re making pasta together! (Dust off that Kitchen Aid pasta making attachment!) Later in February we’re making Drake on Cakes! We’re hoping to offer some distanced, in-person classes later this spring and some in-person and virtual Camp Joy classes this summer. In other words, I’m plotting. (Eventbrite)
• Life hack: How to cook rice in the oven. (Bon Appetit)
• I need to make a cheeky doorbell like this for The Bakehouse that says Press For Cake. (Etsy)
Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have some masked galavanting around Texas to do.
My love to you today.
I’m not sure when I started following your corner of the internet, but it probably wasn’t much later than late 2008. Thanks for helping me bake out my feelings over the years.
I’m so happy for what you achieved Joy and got so moved!! I was called to vaccine as pharmacist and than they called back to be told it’s not time, cause they don’t have enough doses, I hope for the future!!
Happy anniversary Joy! Your blog is one of the bright spots of the internet and while your recipes are flawless, it’s your voice and generosity of spirit that keeps me coming back. Thank you for all that you do and cheers to more adventures.
Happy Anniversary Joy! You are a bright spot on the internet. Love you for you!
Karen C Lindell
Joy, I discovered your sugar cookie recipe in 2008 – I think the post was entitled, “A cookie I can believe in” and you had made the cookies into heart shapes and had “Obama” on them. I knew they’d be a hit. I still pull out the old printout each Christmas when we bake them for our family tradition of decorating Christmas cookies (and a few New Year for good measure). I thought of it today and wondered if you had done anything related to the inauguration – so I thought I’d look you up. Looks like things are going well for you – congrats! I need to check out some more recipes.