Baker, chef, food blogger
Ezra Pound Cake
Rebecca Crump deftly drops a poet reference with a down-home dessert. But this English grad-turned-baker does more than make cadence and cake. Check out her blog for meatless meal ideas on Mondays, such as vegetable cobbler, or savory slow-cooked dishes like pot roast. And pound cake? She's got that, too - flavored with maple and topped with buttercream and candied pecans.
How did you learn to cook?
I taught myself how to cook in college when I realized that if I kept living on cheese sandwiches, I'd get scurvy. I started by checking out piles of cookbooks from the public library and following the recipes. Slowly but surely, more things wound up on my plate than in the trash.
How did you decide to start a food blog? What's been most rewarding/challenging about Ezra Pound Cake?
Five years ago, I quit a job in PR to take an entry-level position at a German bakery. I was the head baker there when I left to get married and move to Nashville. I started Ezra Pound Cake as a way to keep up my skills while I looked for work.
The most rewarding thing about Ezra Pound Cake is hearing from people who tried a recipe and loved it. One woman won her office pie-baking competition with a recipe I posted. How cool is that?
The biggest challenge is avoiding the temptation to post a lot of over-the-top recipes because they get so much attention. When I see a food blog where someone is posting a cake every day, I wonder, "Where is that thing going?"
Where do you find inspiration?
I pay attention to what other people are craving. I call my sister the "recipe whisperer," because she's seven months pregnant and always has the best cravings. She gives me great ideas.
Please tell us your favorites in these categories: cookbook, ingredient, cooking/baking tool.
Favorite cookbook: The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather.
Favorite ingredient: Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.
Favorite tool: My digital scale. It gives much more accurate results than using the "scoop-and-sweep" method.
Please tell us about one of your most memorable food experiences.
Before my sister had her first baby, Mama decided it was time to teach us how to fry corn. She set a huge plate of corn in front of me and one in front of Jennifer and showed us her technique for cutting off the kernels and scraping the milk from the cobs. At first, we were Sunday school-serious about prepping that corn, but then we started to race each other, and by the time we were done, both of us were laughing at the corn kernels in each other's hair.
If you were about to be stranded on a desert island and could only take three foods, what would you take?
I'd take a sack of grits, a box of kosher salt and a jar of orange blossom honey. These things can make anything palatable.
If you could cook or bake for anyone who would it be? What would you prepare?
I'd make a batch of cinnamon rolls for my husband. When we got married, I vowed to make them for him once a year, and the clock is ticking.
What could we always find in your home refrigerator?
Eggs, almond butter, roasted red pepper hummus, apples and enough dairy products to make anyone go lactose-intolerant.
If you could choose your final meal, what would it be?
The food wouldn't matter nearly as much as the company. I'd have one last meal with my family and wait for the chariot to swing low.