The Cheryl and Griffith Day Interview
Cheryl and Griffith Day bring their zest for life and baked goods to their newest book, Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love. This is a couple who live life together to the fullest, and a large portion of it just happens to be in the kitchen and in their bakery, creating sweet treats for their lucky patrons. Now it is easier than ever to bring their celebration of baked goods into your own home with their recipes. We are featuring their Banoffee Pie and Marshmallow Chocolate Cookie Sammies and they agreed to chat with us about their approach to food and crafting.
Dédé Wilson: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day.
Cheryl Day: Thank you for calling!
It’s so great to finally speak with you…last year with your first book we featured the Chocolate Bread and your Cupcakes. It is high time we chatted! Love this new book and the fact that it is packed with recipes but food related craft projects as well…like that Marshmallow Chandelier! How did you come up with the idea to do a cookbook that also included these fun side craft projects?
Cheryl Day: So, yes, one of my DIY projects comes after each chapter…we wanted to give readers a sense of what our bakery looks like, to experience our aesthetic. I am all about crafts! And the publisher got us. They knew we wanted to add these this time around (in this book). And we had also gotten feedback from the first book. Readers wanted to know more about our use of vintage linens and treasures. We had talked about them but they hadn’t been photographed in the first book…so in this book you will see Best in Show pie ribbons, Baby Cake Party Hat and a Keepsake Cake Topper and that marshmallow chandelier actually hangs in the bakery…
OK I have to comment on that chandelier. I know this makes no sense – and would be a ridiculous fire hazard – but every time I look at the photo of that marshmallow chandelier I picture the marshmallows flaming. Like a S’Mores chandelier or something. It’s so whimsical and fantastical…
Flaming? That’s funny! Yeah, we have it hanging, but not flaming!
Now tell me, on a day to day basis, who does what at the bakery? Is one of you back of house and the other front of house?
Cheryl: Griff is master of everything. He really is! But over the years we have learned to define our rolls as a married couple. It helps us and the business!
Griffith: I am back of house, handle finances, create menus, work on whatever is in the cases for lunch…I make sourdough breads…Cheryl does the sweets with our pastry chefs…
So you both do production?
Cheryl: Absolutely! He knows how to do anything and everything…but we have separated our tasks…I am the sweet team (laughs).
I am a bit obsessed with your Shaker Meyer Lemon Pie Bars. How did you come up with that?
Cheryl: It was Griff’s idea. Everything we do we try to make as easy as possible. We are self-taught and write for home bakers. Bars are much more approachable than pies…some people freak out with pie.
Griff: Yes, I thought these would be easier for home baker to do…
Cheryl: They are homespun, nostalgic and easy…people have fear of making pie crust but this is so simple and the recipe has been very popular.
Cheryl: Sure! One thing for the Banoffee pie – the crust is a simple press in crust – but people tend to want to rush making the caramel layer. You have to be patient! It really does turn into caramel…don’t rush. But it is something that can be done in advance, so you can make it and have it on hand. Any other tips (Cheryl asks Griff)?
Griff: That says it all. Take the time with the caramel component.
Cheryl: For the cookies, I tell people it is one of those recipes that has several different components but you don’t have to make all same day. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Make the cookie part the day ahead…or, if you want to make it al at once it can be one of those fun projects, but being in a bakery we think about what we can do in advance without sacrificing flavor or textures…
What chocolate do you like to use for the glaze?
Cheryl: We use Callebaut and Scharfen Berger in the bakery. Use a chocolate you like the taste of and spend some money on a good chocolate. To me when you work with chocolate it is a special treat so spend a little…
Don’t try to melt down chips for this one!
Cheryl: Exactly. And I thought it as funny the way we photographed that one. We were making sure to coat the whole thing and it looked a bit messy…
Stuff goes through ugly phases! I loved the photo because that’s what stuff looks like!
Cheryl: It is real life she says! Yes, it’s how it was and how it is! We aren’t the type of bakers that are so meticulous. This adds to the character and it resonated with me and will with home bakers; their cookies will look like the ones in the book! We have this fan, this woman, who is baking her way through our second book. She makes every recipe! She did the same with our first book and it is amazing to see her progression. She has gotten so good now she is really food styling!
This is a bakery customer?
Cheryl: No, we’ve actually never met her! But we keep up with her on Instagram. She labels everything and is obviously having such a great time! She bakes more than anyone we know. Her husband stole our book away from her and sent it to us to be signed as a surprise for her…
Oh, how wonderful!
Cheryl: And then she didn’t get the second book right away but she found some previewed recipes in a magazine and she was baking them before the book actually came out!
That’s a diehard fan!
Cheryl: And her styling has gotten so good we should probably have her come out and help us with the third book…
There’s a third book? Can you talk about it yet?
Cheryl: We are doing another book…don’t know what…but it will definitely be related to how we like to bake…we’ve received a lot of feedback on book tour about what fans would like…more savory is definitely a request. It’s great being able to directly hear seeing what folks are asking for.
So what are you doing right now, in the beginning of summer?
Cheryl: Going to the farmer’s market…seeing what I can find there. I’m looking forward to all the ripe tomatoes. I love our savory tomato pie! And I love working with blackberries and all kinds of wonderful fruit…peaches, plums. Pies can’t be beat in the summer!
My favorite breakfast is fruit pie…
Cheryl: That’s why we did hand pies! That way you can have pie for breakfast even if you are the run…Griff does bread everyday…pickled salads…it’s so hot in Savannah…we just go to the farmer’s market and “put up” what we find. That way even on a gloomy winter day you can pull something off the shelf and re-live the bounty of summer.
Cheryl and Griff, thank you so much for your time. And now I want to go look up that fan of yours on Instagram. Nice that fans like that! We wish you great success with the book.
Cheryl: Thank you Dédé! You have a great day!