Baking blogger Kate Wood dishes on fall fashion and her favorite spots in her hometown.
Kate Wood didn't grow up rolling out biscuits in her grandmother's kitchen or making pies with her mom. "There weren't a lot of cooks or bakers in my family. We were on a first-name basis with the people at Romano's Macaroni Grill," she says with a laugh. "But we always shared meals together. Community happens around a table." It's this idea of creating community through food that inspired Kate to start her baking blog, Wood and Spoon, a couple of years ago. "It's exciting when someone writes to me and says, "Gosh, this recipe reminds me of something that my grandmother used to make," or "I haven't had one of these since I was a kid." It's really cool when you hear from people and think, "Oh, you too?" " Kate says. While this Selma, Alabama-based mother of two sometimes shares savory recipes, she typically sticks to occasion-worthy sweets, even if the event is just Sunday supper. "Baking is so celebratory. If you show up with a layer cake or even a pan of gooey, from-the-box brownies, you've just taken a get-together to a whole new level. It's now a party," she says.
"I'm all about comfortable, classic pieces presented in a refreshed way. For me, this basically means a whole lot of denim paired with neutral tops and accessories. If I'm getting gussied up, then I lean toward black clothing with pops of color that flatter my skin and hair tones. Olive green and blue are my favorites."
How Motherhood Has Shaped My Fashion Choices
"You quickly learn what fabrics and cuts will be forgiving. I reserve silk for outings when I know there won't be any children around to spill food onto my lap."
Number One Beauty Regret
"I trick myself into bangs about once every eight years. Please, help me to never do that again."
The Shopping Advice I Should Have Heeded
"Invest in the staple pieces you will wear every day. For years, I shopped for quantity over quality and ended up with drawers full of clothes that I only kind of loved because I was afraid to spend my whole budget in one place. Now, I know that I'll appreciate my everyday items more if I buy the ones that flatter me the most, versus just the most affordable ones."
Why I Decided To Focus on Baking
"There's always a place for green smoothies and kale salads and a loaded baked potato, but it's a whole lot easier, in my opinion, to be ecstatic about a plate of warm homemade cookies."
"Life is short. Eat dessert first." —Jacques Torres
Secrets to a Dynamite Recipe
"Butter—and classic flavors. The recipes that resonate most with me are the ones that taste like home. I make an effort to incorporate nostalgia into my food."
My Family's Favorite Treat
"Cinnamon Swirl Bread. My children will get in bed and go to sleep at night if I promise to have cinnamon bread in the morning. It's not quite like the one that Edgar's Bakery in Birmingham makes, but I would gladly challenge them to a Bake-Off!"
Kate's Picks In Selma
1. Selma Interpretive Center
2. Edmund Pettus Bridge
1. Queen City Market
2. Gallery 905
1. Lannie's Bar-B-Q Spot
2. Hancock's Country Bar-Be-Que
1. Alabama River