Well, Hello! Sweet & Simple was started by me, Michelle Jaffee, in December, 2009. I am a mom and home cook and baker in New England. I grew up in California, went to college in Washington, DC and lived in New York City before moving to Connecticut. I am married with three children, two dogs and a fish. This is a little bit about me and some of the baking memories that led to Sweet & Simple!
I love to cook and bake for family and friends, I love talking about cooking and baking, and I love reading about cooking and baking (especially vintage cookbooks). Isn’t sharing food a universal pleasure? Definitely it is! Meals bring us together and anchor us to family and friends. Think of the foods you like best on Thanksgiving, or your favorite birthday cake, flavor of ice cream or comfort food and most likely those things will remind you of people dear to your heart and time spent with them.
My mom helped me bake my first cake when I was six – a carrot cake! – in a wood burning stove. That was in Big Sur, California and at the time my family, four of us, lived in a one-room house so small we called it a tool shed. Another time she helped me make Christmas cookies in a cast iron skillet on top of that stove because a baking sheet would not fit in the oven. Mom would put up Olallieberries in summer and use them for pies all winter. I liked to watch her make a pattern with a fork on the top crust, lift and place it over the berries and then crimp the edges of the two crusts with her fingers so they stuck together.
Before my mom was a baker, my grandma was a baker. She lived hours away and when we saw her it was for a long week or so. It seemed like she was always making a cake with her white Kitchenaid mixer to bring to someone’s house. At Christmas, she sent her very, very crisp and thin cookies layered between waxed paper in a box wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine and addressed in her careful cursive handwriting. She also shelled all her nuts, canned vegetables and made endless jellies and jams. I know I will never taste an apricot and pineapple jam quite like hers again – apricots fresh from a local orchard with just a few bits of pineapple.
In 2009, after taking baking classes in New York City, I decided I really, really wanted to start a small baking business from home. I didn’t have a heck of a lot of direction and thought maybe I just would make some cookies and for fun sell them at a local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. After placing a few calls, I learned that in Connecticut, foods produced in a home kitchen cannot be sold to the public. I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful that I found commercial kitchen space to rent in December, 2009. Thank you very much for stopping by my site today. All my best to you!
In 2012, Sweet & Simple will donate baked goods to the following for their fundraising events: