Let us re-introduce Cindy, our Master Baker at the Machine Shed since 1994. We interviewed her in our Easy As Pie e-Book back in 2016. One of our patrons then claimed, “There’s nothing ‘as American as apple pie.’ Fruity, tart, cream filled or savory – at The Shed, we can’t seem to pass it up, especially when Cindy’s baking!”. Make sure to order a pie from Cindy at the Rockford Machine Shed – especially with the holidays coming up!
Q: How many years have you been at The Machine Shed?
A: I have been with The Machine Shed for almost 28* years. I came to Heart of America with 20 years of baking experience under my belt. During my interview, the general manager (Jeff Grunder from the Davenport Shed at the time) questioned me for an hour on baking—and I must have answered right because he hired me on the spot! I have been baking for the Rockford Machine Shed ever since.
Q: What age did you start baking?
A: I started baking when I was 8 or 9 years old. I had to stand on a chair in my mom’s kitchen to even reach the counter! I came from a large family with a total of 11 children and I was responsible for cooking for my other siblings. My favorite was baking dessert for lunch and dinner; it would be gone right away.
Q: What inspired you to become a baker?
A: I love the expression on a person’s face when they bite into a fabulous dessert.
Q: What is your favorite thing to bake?
A: I like to bake everything. There is nothing that stands out above the rest—but I do enjoy putting together desserts for a special occasion.
Q: What is your favorite thing to eat?
A: Hands downs there is nothing more satisfying than fresh bread hot right out of the oven—with butter of course! I could definitely live off of bread. It is so yummy!
Q: What have you never tried or mastered yet?
A: I have never had the opportunity to try baking bagels or donuts. That would be dangerous territory for me!
Q: What is your most useful tool?
A: My trusty Bench Knife—it cuts through the dough, scrapes counters and never wears down. A close second would be my sheeter, which is an electrical rolling pin. I have turned out record number of pies in a short amount of time with that machine.
Q: What is the most important tip to be successful baker?
A: You want to start with quality ingredients. Take the time to measure and mix properly. Stir in some love of baking, and you will end up with an awesome product. I take a lot of pride in my product and reputation for making wonderful pies.