My inspiration for baking comes from my Grandma Linda of blessed memory. She was into all things elegant and refined. A gourmet cook, her educated palette and love of collecting and creating her own recipes made her unbeatable in the kitchen. Always an enchanting hostess, I loved watching her create the most mouthwatering meals beautifully displayed on elegant table settings. The fact that she made it all look effortless is a bonus cooking life lesson. A few flowers here, a couple of silver accents there. Poof. Fabulousness. I served as her trusted sous chef until we lost her to breast cancer. On occasion I’d catch my widowed Grandfather looking through her recipe boxes and notebooks, cherishing her handwritten notes, so I made an extra effort to always cook his favorite recipes of hers. His delight with each bite filled my heart with gratitude for the gift of love she gave me as a baker.
There is a saying my Mother always reminds our family, “When babies are born they cry and everyone smiles. So make sure to live your life so when you pass, you can smile and let everyone else cry.” I really take this saying to heart. For one of his last meals I my Grandfather baked his favorite birthday cake. When I made it I tried to fill it with as much love as I could. As I slowly spoon fed him, he was so happy he couldn’t stop giggling. I was so happy I cried.
Now that I’ve inherited my Grandmother’s cherished handwritten recipes, I have learned two important things: 1) it took some trial and error but I can assure you her definition of “a handful” it is NOT a full handful (don’t worry I figured it out!); and 2) I found my calling and decided to open my own bake shop, Butter Cakery. I have used a few antiques of hers in my store, including her portrait, as inspiration.
So please feel free to call me Lexi when you join us for a slice or a custom cake here in Natchez, Mississippi!