Renee and I share a family name (however, we are not related). We share a hometown, and some common interests, including travel, and we are both Foodies. She loves to bake, and I like to sample freshly-baked treats. Who doesn’t? Renee has a wonderful way of reminding us all to put the fun back into our day.
Renee’s favourite treat is a tossup between chocolate chip biscotti (featured image) and chewy chocolate brownies (not pictured). But really, there is no need to pick a favorite— they are all so delicious.
Looking at all the beautiful photos, I’d have to say that the classic sticky Cinnamon Rolls with gooey Cream Cheese Frosting and a brewed coffee would be my preferred choice for a freshly-baked treat to be enjoyed in my cozy PJs. Mmmmm. I love the traditional super moist Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake too!
BAKING MY WAY THROUGH COVID-19
Why am I baking so often now? That is an easy question for me to answer. I’m staying home all the time because of the coronavirus pandemic, instead of planning events, which I usually do. Honestly, I just love to bake. Plain and simple. It’s my passion. It’s relaxing and therapeutic. I have the time to do other things like think of ways to improve my business, clean every nook and cranny in my house, talk to my friends on the phone, read books, and watch TV, but I choose to bake. It’s fun to bake old favourite recipes, and then it’s even more fun to find a new one inspired from either the myriad of sites on the internet or from one of the trending Instagram bakers that I follow. I will bake any time of day or night; it doesn’t matter to me.
I love the whole baking process from beginning to end. I get in my baking bubble and don’t let anything distract me, such as the non-stop news updates about Covid-19. I only think about what I’m making and go through all of the steps which I have done a million times. While everyone else has been searching for flour, sugar and yeast at multiple grocery stores, I only had to choose a recipe, go into my pantry’s baking section for all the ingredients and turn on my oven. Easy peasy!
For whom am I baking? I do it for my family because I know it makes them happy. Why not? They are all either studying or working from home, and often will give me a baking request. They each have their personal favourites. However, I love when I surprise them and then they ask with wide eyes…”What did you bake? It smells sooooo good!” That makes me smile and feel great! I mean, who doesn’t like the smell of freshly-baked goods in the oven? If I make too much or don’t want a baked good to tempt me, I will put it in the freezer for a rainy day. There are always cookie dough balls, and muffins, biscotti or brownies ready to eat anytime someone in my house has a yen.
During this unique time when the elderly are in self-isolation and can’t go out to buy dessert, I only have to think of my immediate family. I have been baking treats for my dear 84 year-old parents, 90 year-old special in-laws, and favorite independent 100 year-old great-aunt. They all appreciate my weekly deliveries of delicious baked goods which are their guilty pleasures. I know how much they enjoy eating something sweet that’s homemade, with a cup of tea, so now I definitely can’t stop baking!
When I saw a Facebook post last week that Montreal Federation CJA was looking for home bakers to bake for the frontline workers at several Montreal seniors homes, I knew immediately I had to join this philanthropic group. Now I am baking a different recipe weekly, with the requisite face mask and gloves, and doing something good for the heroes in our community, who are helping others. I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful charitable initiative. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about going anywhere and I can enjoy baking from the safety of my home.
I cannot sit at my computer anymore. I’m getting the baking itch now and have to go. Sorry, but my oven is calling me…
Renee Pearl, of Pearl Productions, is a social and corporate event planner and mother of three adult children. Known to her family and friends as “The Queen of Fun” and “Baker Extraordinaire”, she is always bursting with positivity and joie de vivre.
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