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Just in Case

For Joy Wilson—better known as Joy the Baker—the best solutions involve butter and sugar

Words and Photographs by Joy Wilson



Growing up, I was the girl with the curly bangs. By curly bangs, I actually mean frizzy bangs. I'm not telling you this because I need your pity. Frizzy bangs are an integral part of how I've come to be a baker.

See, the girl with the frizzy bangs is not the girl that can whip her shampoo-commercial-quality hair around, flash a smile, a wink, and get whatever she likes from the world. The girl with the frizzy bangs has to fight for it. There is no social crutch. We have to learn a skill, and milk it for all it's worth. Girls with frizzy bangs know how to tell awesome jokes, play the trombone, learn to soft shoe. They have a skill to fall back on just in case things should go awry.

For this girl with curly bangs, baking became my special skill. When I took my first perfectly browned apple pie out of the oven, I was certain I had stumbled upon my hidden super power. If frizzy bangs were my dorky flaw, then baking was my super skill. With butter, sugar and cinnamon, no one was immune to my charms, frizzy bangs and all.




I'm not the girl with the frizzy bangs anymore. I'm now the woman with awkward bed-head and the occasional side bun. I'm also the woman who knows how to bake. I'm the woman who believes that most everything can be solved with butter and sugar.

Your mother-in-law is coming over for dinner? No biggie. We can handle this. You want to bake for a boy you're sweet on? Ok! No problem at all. You're about to have wine for dinner? Wait . . . let's talk about this! Channel your inner frizzy-banged girl. I promise you can bake your way out of nearly any situation with a curly-headed mindset.

Maybe you can't sway hearts and minds with your shiny, flowing hair, but you surely can worm your way into their hearts with a warm apple pie. All is fair in love and frizz. Here's what to bake, just in case:

In Case You Want to Impress a Boy With Sugar



Listen very carefully: do not bake for a boy until you are entirely certain that you like this boy with your whole heart. If you're on the fence, this boy does not deserve the sugar and butter you're going to blend. Once you pull a sweet treat from the oven, that boy is going to be hooked. Be careful whom you bake for.

If this boy is a real gem: he opens doors, he looks you in the eyes with wonder and affection, and he texts you back in a non-dramatic amount of time, he may be on track to be worthy of baked creations. I like to suggest Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread. It's easy to throw together, and the smell of baked banana and cinnamon will sincerely have the boy pondering where he can buy you a promise ring. I know it sounds too easy. Banana bread? Really though, boys are simple creatures.

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