When I first started this blog I worked at a coffee house on campus, but never wrote about it. I should have-- it's made a big impact. Stevenson is the reason I started baking. It's where I discovered Smitten Kitchen and where I started experimenting to make things like pumpkin roll cakes and chouquettes. Toward the end of the year I worked more shifts as a baker than as a barista.
But even more than baking, the coffee house was like another home. My coworkers were like my Santa Cruz family that I baked too many things for. We had our own little staff table with notes and funny quotes just for us.
I still remember my first bake shift. I was nervous. Lily (a seasoned veteran) showed me around and taught me the ways of the small kitchen. (The oven had to be kept at 350, everything baked twice as fast, wear gloves when making fudgies.) I distinctly remember her pulling out the heavy, gray oven mitts and saying that their "home" was on top of the spices. They belong there.
I got to go back last week to meet Camille there. We both have graduated and being there was bittersweet because it was our coffee house but not our coffee house anymore.
I had my first-ever coffee house coffee (I didn't drink a drop while I was in college).
I indulged in Stevenson's world-famous, Santa Cruz-famous fudgie.
I shared a new recipe with a new baker.
And I took photos that were long overdue.
Thankfully, my former coworkers Matt and April were still working there and made it feel a little bit more like home.