This week’s theme is feed the people. I met two ladies in the last two weeks, and I’ll blog about them in the order in which I drove out to see them.
First is Stephanie Newman. The woman behind the Cheesecakery Bakery.
I meet her and she’s in mid-stride. She zips around the kitchen of St. Paul’s Church like a ninja. A ninja with muscled arms. And also a very friendly ninja. She’s making cheesecakes, and cheesecakes in a jar, and mixing, scraping, pouring, baking, cooling, washing. To the untrained eye, it looks like a lot of work is going on. A lot of orders to fill, labels to apply, deliveries to make. To the trained eye - it’s probably even more complicated.
They’d been telling her for years that her cheesecakes are to die for. ‘They’ being her family and friends. But Stephanie waited until she had two teensy toddlers (and an older kid, as well) to start this venture. Because aren’t we all inner masochists? She only gets two baking days a week - the rest are spent being a loving mom at home - but she clearly makes it count. I try to do the same, following her around, pressing the shutter as the yellow batter pours deliciously into a giant metal bowl. I zone out for a second when the behemoth mixer paddle sloshes through the sweet mixture, wishing it was my fingers instead, scooping around in there. (I didn’t touch anything, I promise).
Stephanie has lots of plans for her business, like hiring help and building a commercial kitchen in her home so she doesn’t have to lug all her gear around twice a week. But for now, she’s utterly devoted to getting out the next batch of Cadbury’s Mini Egg cheesecake jars just in time for Easter.
Someone who invests so much of their precious alone time into making edibles for other people is without a doubt practicing what they’re meant to be doing. The world seems to agree, because Stephanie’s cheesecakes are flying off the shelves. I met up with her again this Sunday, at the Tack and Bake sale in Odessa, and she’d already sold fifty jars in just a couple of hours. Horse-lovers or not, the customers don’t lie: these cheesecakes in a jar are one fantastic innovation. The only down side to this whole thing is that the contents of the jars are so good, they encourage skulking in the dead of night to eat them in full privacy, lest the rest of your family find out and ask to share. Or, you could just buy a box of them. They keep well. Theoretically. In my house, they keep for about five minutes.
You can read my original post about Stephanie here.
Below are photos of Stephanie at work