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August 27, 2008

Bear with me while I hi-jack my art blog into a food blog.

Heath-shaped pan from Becker's Bakery, remains of my vegan heart-shaped coffee cake, and M.A.H. melamine test plate

Another secret confession: I almost went to cooking school instead of grad school.

I can't believe I just outed myself like that, but it's true. One of the day jobs I landed after moving to Chicago was working in the kitchen for the catering company that provided the food for the cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I made pastries. I also pulled the tendons out of 60 or so chicken breasts one day, and apparently have not been able to erase that task from my memory, but the pastries were fun. In one of those flash moments of what the hell am I going to do with a BFA, I applied to cooking school and was going to learn to be a pastry chef for my day job. In another one of those flash moments of what the hell am I going to do with a BFA and a degree from cooking school, I applied to grad school and sold all my fancy cookbooks to Powell's Bookstore.

My mom bought me the heart-shaped pan from Becker's Bakery on 12th ave South, Nashville. ALL of my birthday cakes, everyone else's birthday cakes, 2 wedding cakes (bride and groom's cake) came from Becker's. My sole reason for living was to have another birthday cake from that bakery. After like 79 years, Becker's closed its doors at that location and sold all their pots and pans, tables and racks. If I had been living in Nashville, I would have furnished my entire studio complements of Becker's Bakery.

Okay, enough of the butter and white sugar nostalgia. I've been doing my vegan cooking thing this week and am now experimenting with dairy-free baking. I modified the coffeecake recipe above, substituting a banana for eggs, reduced the cooking time by 5 or so minutes and voilá. I suppose next time I should take the picture BEFORE we eat. Obviously, a food photographer, I am not.

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