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Tiny Pastry Chef

(by Erycka Dore’an)

As a child, I looked forward to the aroma of cinnamon or a spritz of citrus drifting from the kitchen as my mother created one of her special treats. I always volunteered to be her assistant. Who wouldn’t want to be up close and personal to all of her favorite sweets? This same excitement and curiosity has been passed on to my older daughter, Payton.

“Mommy, I want to help,” she said, just two years old and tugging at the bottom of my shirt as I prepared to make Grandma Potter's peach cobbler for our Thanksgiving table two years ago. (Grandma Potter is somebody else's grandma, but for the purposes of cobbler, she's family.)

My mother is still the matriarch and resident culinary genius of the family, but every year, each member of the family contributes a dish for our much-anticipated holiday feast. I’m the youngest of several girls, and the brothers-in-l