Hello and welcome to Sweetest Crumb!
My name is Genia and I am so happy you’re visiting the site! While I was born in Ukraine, my parents brought our family over to Edmonton, Canada when I was a child in hopes of allowing me and my sister to pursue better opportunities than those which we could ever imagine to find in Ukraine. Perhaps partly because of an inherent expectation for me to study hard, go to post secondary and set off on a stable, safe and respectable career path, I completed my Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction at the University of Alberta and further continued my professional development by studying to get my CA (Chartered Accountant) designation. I then spent 3 years working at a large accounting firm. My days (and sadly often my evenings and weekends) consisted largely of this:
While I was busy tracking numbers by day, I spent much of my free time baking. Creating desserts is my biggest passion. I love creating sweet delicate treats with interesting flavours, intricate designs or unique presentation. I rarely make drop cookies but love challenging myself with more difficult creations – creme brûlée, home made caramel, macarons, etc. My favourite part of baking is giving it away – I love sharing it with others and often drop off baking for family, friends, co-workers, etc. I have taken some courses at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) but generally have taught myself what I know. I love looking through baking books, magazines and online for new creative recipes to try.
I am often inspired by traditional recipes of other countries, in particular French recipes. Having spent some time in Paris in the fall of 2012, I could not stop myself from going into every bakery I passed (which was a lot since they have bakeries everywhere) and studying the beautiful counters of pastries for what I wanted to try (which was everything). I find the pastries in France the most impressive and also intimidating to re-create flawlessly.
In 2013, I eventually came to the realization that public accounting was just not the right choice for me at this point in my life and I decided to make a huge, life-altering decision to move to Paris to attend pastry school at Ferrandi. While I am not sure where my life will take me in the future, I hope it involves baking on a regular basis. For now, I am hoping to use this blog as a means to document some of the things I make as well as share my foodie adventures and my time in France.
While baking is my #1 favourite thing to do, I also enjoy cooking. I focus on using healthy and fresh ingredients to make nutritious meals. It is very worrisome to me that so much of the food that is consumed today is packaged, processed and unnatural. It is disheartening to see that the majority of grocery stores are filled with convenient-type foods which are microwaveable or stuffed with fillers, flavours and preservatives. What we put in our bodies has a direct impact on our health and we so often ignore that. Don’t get me wrong, I love enjoying the occasional guilty pleasure like ordering Chinese food, but I believe that it should be enjoyed in moderation and not on a daily basis. I also believe it is much better to eat home-made “junk food” like cookies and cakes where you are in full control of what you put in.
I am also passionate about reducing my own impact on the environment. I took a Master Composter/ Recycler course in Edmonton in the past year and am currently composting my organic food scraps at home (in a worm bin). I love reading articles about what we can do to reduce our waste and negative impact on the planet so there will likely be a few posts related to these topics as well.
Thanks for visiting the site!