Tell us about your favorite spot in your home. Why is it your favorite spot?

I am a professional baker, and my small Houston apartment kitchen—complete with a wonky, on-the-cheap oven and overstuffed, slightly-dysfunctional baking pantry—is my haven from the madness. No matter what life throws at me, I can always find true, short-term gratification and peace in my very own beloved baking space, whipping up unique and delicious treats for family, for friends, and, starting in the summer of 2020, for a beautiful local tea room.

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Is there a particular story about how this spot came to be arranged/decorated the way it is? 

I live with my parents, and after their suburban Texas home flooded in Hurricane Harvey in 2017, resulting in a near-complete loss of our physical property and possessions, we were thankfully able to relocate to an apartment on the main drag in Houston, Texas. It has been a great help and blessing to me to be able to have a workable kitchen these past few years, as baking is my “therapy” in times of need, as well as being a source of income for me. Especially during the past year, being homebound due to coronavirus, it was wonderful to be able to immediately do something that really was constructive and beneficial for my household. Last month during the severe winter storm in Texas, I was able to make a birthday cake for myself and my family the day before we lost power and water in my city of Houston. My birthday, February 16, ended up being without electricity or running water, but we still had a very tasty flourless chocolate birthday cake! I have also had great success trying new things with older recipes, such as filling kolacky, a traditional Polish cookie, with Nutella instead of jam. Turns out, Nutella kolacky are the best! It was a very felicitous culinary “experiment.”

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Have there been particularly inspiring or moving moments in this corner of your home? Or, is there a particular feeling you get when you are in this space in your house?

When I am in my humble little apartment kitchen, I am totally at home, even though my place of residence might be temporary. It truly is my “Hobbit-hole.” Though the past few years of my life have been full of upheaval, with flooding, pandemic, and more recently, an unprecedented Texas winter storm, I take great comfort and joy in knowing I don’t even need to leave the house to be able to create something that truly does bring people together, helps others, and produces meaningful connections and benefits that far outlast the more brief moments of food preparation and enjoyment.

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