Hi and welcome to ‘All About The Crust’! All About The Crust came to fruition out of a passion for traditions, amazing food and a desire for a community connection. Founder: Tamara
My journey began uniquely when two incredible, but very young people fell in love. What’s unique about that, you might be thinking??? Well, I was born when my mom and dad couldn’t yet get drivers licences, never mind vote or buy a beer. Why do I start my story out here? Because my love of food, tradition and community were fostered on Montreal Street in Regina while I lived with my mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt and uncle, but also across the street from my dad and other set of grandparents. Both my grandparents and parents were friends with all on the block, so I naturally became the darling ‘adopted’ princess….going from house to house to ‘visit’ and learn different customs of the neighbours & family!
Being spoiled by farm fresh (my grandparents still farmed too), local, homemade food everywhere I turned, my standards were high & diverse. Culturally, we were a blend of Germain, Irish, Scottish, Aboriginal, British and Polish….yes, and I must add, that I was an Italian Princes in a past life too. My two grandmas were cooks (one at a diner in Pangman, SK and the other a cook for the railroad). My dad trained as a chef and when my mom and dad were old enough to get married, they opened a diner in the beautiful Regina train station. I used to sit, and ‘help’ make milkshakes while becoming friends with the patrons….like, who doesn’t care about a 3-year old’s life dreams and dolls names????
Life moved on and I became enamored with biochemistry, medicine and healthcare. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree, I married my high school sweetheart, The Duke, and we settled down in Lumsden, SK (town of 1500 people). I started working in the pharmaceutical industry after I was blessed with two healthy, happy, PERFECT little girls. It was here I would spend the bulk of my working life. Moving the family from province to province and then ending up in Alberta, where our girls finished grade school and I was a multiple airline frequent flyer (about 80-120 flights/year).
March of 2019, I retired from pharma at 50 years of age. Quite burned out and unsure of what to do next. A soul-searching journey to find ‘me’ has led me back to my roots. I value community, hard work, giving back and flippin’ great homecooked meals where family and friends share stories, wine and traditions. Bread has always been one of my favorite foods. The transformation of such basic ingredients of flour, water and salt from a paper mâché dough ball to an aromatic, work of tasty art, is SOOOO COOL! A piece of homemade warm bread topped with butter, in my opinion, is the definition of COMFORT, HOME, and HEAVEN.
May 2019, Earl and I set off on a West Coast pilgrimage, to find out whether my love of bread was just a hobby or something bigger. At the San Francisco Baking Institute, I fell in love even more with the science and process of old world breads: hand mix, intense mix, improved mix, flour proteins, amylase, protease, yeast, levain, fermentation times/temperatures, cooking with steam, F.F + F.T + R.T +/- P.F=DT (Dough Temperature), crust/crumb integrity, and the damn baguette seam!
A couple other great courses to learn different techniques and voila, July 2019 ‘All About The Crust’ is born. Why the name? Because, no matter what I bake, the difference from other baking styles is the crust. The pecan pie is my grandmother’s/mother’s original recipe…so flaky & light and PIE competition winner every family reunion—go MOM go!!! The bread crust is chewy and crunchy like something you’d find at a European bakery….adults love the crust because it enhances the flavour of the simple ingredients, but children despise due to the texture.
It is my hope that you enjoy the bread as much as I enjoyed preparing it for you. I look forward to meeting you and sharing your feedback, traditions and life stories.
Thank you to all those family and friends who have helped support the journey!