This National Pie Day, we only have pies for Erin Jeanne McDowell. She’s proving that life is what you bake of it in our latest blog post! Read on to find out how she slices up her life with her mouth-watering pies and confectionaries!
Your dessert creations are like works of art! When did you first fall in love with creating in the kitchen?
I always loved being in the kitchen - as a kid, I used to pretend to host an imaginary cooking show using my mom’s mortar and pestle (her spice drawer always gave me a similar feeling to what I imagine artists feel when they look at all their paints). But it was baking at Grandma’s house that really cemented things. At her house, I baked my very first pies - the first dessert I fell for hook, line, and sinker. She also allowed me a little more freedom - both to make a mess, and even to make mistakes. But just like many things, making mistakes is how you learn to become a better baker.
All of your creations look so amazing. BUT, if you had to choose just one dessert to make, what would it be? Who would you share it with?
I would make pies - any flavor - every day for the rest of my life. And if I could only bake one, it would be a rhubarb pie to share with my Grandma. We ate a lot of slices of pie together through the years, but I would give anything for one more.
Just like life, sometimes recipes don’t go as planned! Can you describe your worst baking disaster?
I was 16, and to support my new love for baking, my Grandma had commissioned a series of holiday treat bags to gift to friends and neighbors. I was melting chocolate in the microwave in small glass bowls - not realizing that these bowls were NOT in fact heat safe. After a few too many times of heating the bowl, the chocolate inside it IGNITED inside the microwave, creating a small fire. I put the fire out, and carefully removed the bowl from the microwave. Panicked, I called a friend, as as the other line rang...the bowl itself EXPLODED, sending burnt chocolate and shards of glass all over the kitchen.
Many have said that creating in the kitchen is a form of self-expression. What do you want your culinary creations to say about you? How do you express yourself outside of the kitchen?
My favorite part about cooking and baking is sharing it with people I love. I want the food I make to make people happy, make them smile - make them feel good! Especially right now when I can’t physically hug people, I hope my food can for me. Sharing the recipes I create with others is an amazing expansion of this, too - it allows me to share food with total strangers/new friends too! I am generally a very creative person and spend my other free time writing and playing music (I love the ukelele, but also play mandolin, guitar, and a smattering of banjo), but being in the kitchen is my ultimate creative outlet.