Heidi Clarke and some of her creations

Serendipity, fate, who knows, but I’m continually enchanted by those unexpected encounters that enrich your life. Today we’re in Portland, OR and our long time friends, Richie and Patty took us to their local farmers market where I chanced upon Heidi Clarke.  Here are some of the things she makes:

I asked her how she got started. She told me she was an artist, then went to Culinary school to train as a butcher (I was so surprised by that odd juxtaposition that I forgot to ask why).  But fate changed her life when a chance encounter found her sitting on a bus next to a pastry chef, who noticed Heidi reading Bon Appetit.  They got to talking, one thing led to another, and Heidi left the meat market to create cakes and cookies.  And here are some of her confections:

I love the zaniness of her creations.  And you can see how her back-ground as an artist propels her sense of whimsy.  I guess when it comes to cake, if you can imagine it, Heidi can create it.

   You can see more about Heidi’s cakes and cookies and her company, Zephyr Cakes on her website here.  And Etsy, a website featuring artisans and their creations, has more on Zephyr Cakes here.  Her cakes are so fanciful, as my friend Patty says, it seems a shame to eat them.  But when we sampled one of her lime sugar cookies, I found it infused with an airy, tart sweetness like a lover’s good-bye kiss.