Yes, it is a privileged life we lead here at AbundaTrade world headquarters. With a generally mild year-round climate—save the occasional life-altering hurricane—we are surrounded by lush, sub-tropical vegetation, and graced with regular sightings of native critters, such as bobcats, osprey, and all manner of lizards. As if that wasn’t enough, we are the direct beneficiaries of the burgeoning baking skills of one of our very own coworkers.
By day, Erika is an integral member of AbundaTrade’s trade department, assessing the condition of incoming items and compiling valuation statistics for the AbundaTrade number crunchers. At the end of the workday (or sometimes before it even begins) she is a kitchen alchemist, transforming ordinary flour, milk, and sugar into confectionary gold. She fits her baking into the free space of her schedule, which tends to be at night, sometimes as late as one a.m., or in the early morning, between six and eight o’clock. With an arsenal of tools, including zesters, a hand whisk, and her trusty baking dictionary, she practices her science; we are her willing test subjects.
Finding inspiration and guidance from both of her grandmothers, Erika began baking in earnest a mere seven months ago. She has had no formal training and, admittedly, was rather ignorant of the ways of the cake pan. But her mentors are wise and her will is strong; she has made considerable progress. Some of her favorite recipes come from the “Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook, Limited Edition for Breast Cancer Awareness,” which features recipes from those who have been affected by breast cancer. However, the two recipes that she holds in the highest of regard are not to be found in any book: Grandma Geneva’s caramel cake, and Grandma Vinny Mae’s apple pie. Although we think Erika is tops, she feels she still has much more to learn before attempting either of those paragons of pastries. At least, not until she acquires a proper sifter.
In the meantime we will be more than satisfied with the Oreo cream cheese pies, sweet potato chocolate chip creme cookies, red, white & blueberry shortcakes, or any of the other delectable treats she sets out for us in the AbundaTrade break room. Bake on!