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Live any length of time and you’ll quickly discover that there are professionals and amateurs. This fact is immediately apparent if you if you attempt to rewire your house; spend a couple hours at your local Pine Knot Elementary Orchestra Christmas Holiday Concert; or try to deal with that nagging toothache.

Baking also falls in this category. As Morris will attest, neither of us are starving; however, when it comes to desserts, I defer to the professionals. Some risks are just not worth taking.

When I started drafting Undercover–the first of the Matchmaker Pearl Romantic Mysteries–I was telling my sister that I needed to talk to true professionals. She smiled with that twinkle in her eye that I’ve come to associate with liability insurance and stitches. Yet, this was serious business: a book was on the line, people. So, with my usual disclaimer, “Mom’s going to be mad if you get me hurt,” I got in to the car. Destination: Sequim, Washington.

Located sixty-eight miles northwest of Seattle, Sequim is a tiny town that lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Although it is known as the “Lavender Capital of North America,” more important, for my purposes, it is home to That Takes the Cake bakery. The 2014 (and three-time) winner of Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington’s Best Wedding Cake category. That Takes the Cake is something special.

Owners, Paul and Sue Boucher, are not only amazing bakers, but tremendously generous with their time and knowledge. They don’t scare easily–a critical skill for bakers. Sue didn’t blink when two strangers showed up in the doorway asking for the inside scoop on what it was like to run a bakery. My notes were pretty sketchy as we delved into side stories and eating cupcakes. It was a great research trip.

I would encourage everyone to do their own “research” trip to That Takes the Cake. As a seasoned veteran, I can say that there’s no bad cupcake, but there is a reason why Sergeant Nina Markov’s favorite cupcake is the peanut butter cup.

 


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    Author

    Delia Brendan lives in the Pacific Northwest and writes humorous romantic mysteries set in the town of Dandelion.

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