An enthusiastic cook and baker all my life, I was drawn to the kitchen early. I remember
sitting on a small stool watching my mother braiding her Sunday bread. She always
included me by giving me a piece of dough to experiment with, and I loved to shape it
into dogs, cats, rabbits and rolls. I learned from her that during proofing and shaping,
the dough has to be treated with care, and that only the best ingredients and techniques
yield excellent results. When the bread was in the oven and the house started to smell
like a bakery, I knew that my little world was intact.
My mom was not the only family member who instilled a passion for food in me. There
was great aunt Bertha Schnyder, a nonconformist, who in the 1930s had founded a
home economics school for women - mostly farmer’s daughters - in Switzerland. I still
own a copy of the booklet she authored about baking bread in the farmhouse kitchen.
There are photos inside the publication with smiling children proudly carrying freshly
baked tarts from the small community oven house to their farms. The