As moms often do, I think of my life in “kid years.” I
started working at King Arthur Flour when my son,
Nikolai, was a 4-year-old in day care. Today, Nik is 28
years old, living and working in London. And while
we’re far removed from one another physically, he’s
always in my heart, the whisper of the little boy and
the confident voice of the grown man inextricably
I have many of the same feelings about The Baking
Sheet, this King Arthur Flour newsletter that started its
life in Washington state, quickly moved to Vermont,
and has been “growing up” for the past 24 years.
The Baking Sheet started small – literally. A mere 12
pages in length, it was an 8" x 7 1/2", manually stapled,
hand-punched booklet at birth – the dimension deter-
mined by the legal-sized paper we fed into our office
copy machine to print it.
Brinna Sands and I mothered the newsletter for 13
years. Brinna, author of our seminal King Arthur Flour
200th Anniversary Cookbook, has always been King Ar-
thur’s “mom.” She and her husband, company president
Frank Sands, led the company through its transforma-
tion from a small regional family business to a mega-
successful national baking resource.
As Baking Sheet editors, Brinna and I had our ups and
downs – like any parents. One year we delivered seven
issues, instead of the six readers had subscribed to;
we simply lost track of the time. We added special-
interest columns, and took them away; found new
writers, and lost them to other parts of the company.
Then, in 2003, Susan Reid arrived at King Arthur
Flour – and everything changed. Susan is a larger-
than-life presence, a human whirlwind with a soul
devoted to writing, a head full of baking science,
and a heart of gold. She immediately jumped in as a
Baking Sheet writer, fulfilling the role so completely
and competently it soon became apparent she was
destined to be editor.
As moms, we constantly experience the push-pull
of our children’s growth. We need to know when to
hold onto that little hand in ours … and when to let
go. By 2003, it was time for Brinna and me to let go
of The Baking Sheet, and give Susan free rein to take
it through its teenage years and into adulthood.
Over the succeeding 10 years, Susan gradually
turned the newsletter into a full-fledged, full-color,
full-size magazine – the magazine you now hold in
your hands (or read on your smartphone). Our Bak-
ing Sheet became a successful adult.
Still, the infant newsletter, with its initial 127 sub-
scribers, remained in my heart – memories born of
late nights at the computer, of laughter over some of
our more outlandish recipes, and of the simple plea-
sure of working with colleagues who truly care about
baking, and sharing, and making people happy.
And two dozen years after the launch of King Arthur
Flour’s Baking Sheet, the sentiments I expressed in
my first editorial letter back in 1990 remain the
“As the days grow shorter and then, hallelujah, start
to lengthen again after the winter solstice, let’s all
spend some time in the kitchen. After all, a homemade gift from the oven, whether to oneself or to
others, is a gift from the heart.”
Bake for good. Bake to share. And bake with joy.
Thank you, one and all.
King Arthur Flour