Of the two baby girls, she was born first—by 35 days.

Each of these babies grew to adulthood—one in sunny Florida, Mrs. Maida Heatter—the other in the northern Great Plains, Mrs. Eudora Pfeiffer.

Though unrelated by blood, residence, and occupation, they shared commonality.

Had they ever met each other? No, they had not. Yet, both of these delightful women served as baking mentors—to me!

In the days prior to Food Network and Instagram, recipes were published in cookbooks or textbooks.

In addition, homespun recipes jotted on lined white cardstock served as the “good neighbor” way to share a recipe.

Maida linked these ideas together in developing recipes that went beyond the difficulty of homespun. Yet, her don’t-be-afraid-to-make-this-recipe-as-I’m-right-beside-you-honey encouraging words served to mentor confidence in any achieving home baker!

I was endeared to Mrs. Heatter through her cookbooks. After purchasing one of them, I was hooked on her recipes and her encouraging words! Without them, a 25-layer Dobosh Torte or a unique-beyond-words cheesecake consisting of concentric circles of vanilla and espresso batter would never have been created by Yours Truly!

She was a dessert cookbook author extraordinaire whose recipes challenged me to take to new levels of achievement the specific basic baking science and art principles learned as a child from Mrs. Pfeiffer, my momma.

In many past blogs, I have praised the skillful teaching of Mom! She was an expert at tutoring exactness in measuring and mixing techniques. It was the hard and fast foundation I needed to embark on my future dessert-baking business! Yet, who know, that the future would bear witness to that fact!

Though these two ladies were born days apart, Mrs. Heatter’s lifespan surpassed Mrs. Pfeiffer’s by 33 years.

When Mrs. Heatter was about 80, she told a friend, “Well, I just had my yearly physical, and the doctor told me that I was in such good health that I didn’t need to come back for another 20 years!” washingtonpost.com

After continuing to have baked every day up to her mid 90s, this beautiful woman’s baking legacy joined Mom’s. Maida was 102.

Mentors, coaches, teachers, tutors, counselors, parents, and instructors all give evidence to sharing knowledge.

By leading baking devotees in classes at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie, it, too, is Miss NiNi’s goal to pass the baton of enthusiasm and knowledge for encouraging baking instruction.

Our next Beginning Baking Basics class is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9, 5:30 pm., at the desserterie. It’s open to children and adults. Why not create your own baking legacy!

Miss NiNi

NOTE TO READERS: Follow Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. When in central Iowa, enjoy Miss NiNi’s delicious handcrafted, award-winning desserts at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie in West Des Moines/Waukee.

BACKGROUND- Janine Knop, aka Miss NiNi, grew up on the prairies of North Dakota learning to bake alongside her mother. As her passion for baking delicious treats grew, so did her creative flair in the kitchen. She is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in Home Economics Education and a minor in Food and Nutrition. She served as a home economist for an upper Midwest power company promoting the use of electrical kitchen appliances through television, radio, and cooking schools. As an Atlantic-area farm wife and mother, she has honed her baking skills in her own kitchen by creating and testing hundreds of dessert recipes. Janine has been awarded numerous championship ribbons in the food department at the Iowa State Fair, the largest food competition of its kind in the United States. Her passion for dessert baking served as the catalyst which led to the creation of her own nationally known company, Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts.

Tags