Isn’t it exciting that you are never too old to learn something new? As the photo proves (more about that photo later!), I’ve been baking since I was six or seven. 

Charlotte Lepp (left) using her easy bake oven at the age of six.

But to use a modern quote, I was today years old when I learnt that using Anita’s Flour greatly improves the end result. In starting Lepp’s Bakehouse (2518 W Railway Street), our bakers experimented with different flours in their bread. Surprisingly, they discovered that the products made with Anita’s Flour rose higher and had a better “crumb” than the rest, and they’ve been using Anita’s exclusively ever since. 

So I put my own special family recipes to the test and achieved the same results. My New Year’s fritters were softer, my buns rose higher, and most importantly, my family reported this year’s paska (a traditional Easter bread) to be the fluffiest they’d ever enjoyed. If that comment doesn’t win you over, then nothing will. 

Naturally, I went to their website to crack the code of my fluffiest-ever paska. As written on their website, “Our process is traditional. Our grains come from Canadian farmers and are milled right here in Chilliwack, BC. By keeping temperatures low and taking our time, we keep the whole grain nutrition intact. Whole grain goes in, and whole grain nutrition comes out”. Their website does an excellent job explaining their careful choice of the best quality organic Canadian grains and their unique milling process. As is often the case, the benefit of supporting small-scale producers such as Anita’s is that the ingredients are chosen with care, and the end product is fresher when it arrives in your home. We know you’ll agree if you’ve tried our crusty Bakehouse sourdough loaves and delicious baked goods. 

Now, back to the photo. My older siblings were very good sports and would purchase my Easy-Bake Oven iced cakes for a whopping 25 cents each. But still, so many questions! Why is my step stool covered in tin foil? Why am I dressed in a rainbow of clashing colours? What happened to that vintage radio tucked in the corner? Why is my older sister sporting those amazing bubbles in her hair and standing so placidly beside me? After careful questioning, she informed me that she was definitely not my sous chef, and she was heading to her Grade 8 Christmas banquet and that there were even sparkles in amongst the bubbles. Aren’t vintage family photos fun and oh-so-humbling?

Whether you enjoy the Bakehouse’s delicious baked goods or purchase the flour for your own baking, we know you will also be converted by the difference using Anita’s Organic Mill’s flour makes. 

Now, onto some recipes to get you started.

In what I refer to as my “previous life” (pre-Lepp Farm Market), I regularly baked buns for my family. They weren’t healthy whole wheat buns but fluffy white buns perfect for slathering with jam or, my personal favourite, peanut butter and Roger’s Golden Syrup. But now, a recipe I thought was etched into my brain vanished from memory as I hadn’t made them in the last four years. A call to my long-time friend Jan was required.

Phantom Rhubarb Muffins, so named because they tend to disappear quickly, are the perfect way to open the season of cooking with local fruit. I realize that rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but since it’s generally used in sweet preparations, we’ll place it in the fruit category.

A perfect brunch always includes a sweet treat, and my mom’s Cinnamon Crumb Cake is ideal. It’s an old family recipe, and the simplicity of ingredients and one-bowl technique speaks to my mom’s personality.

This cake can be easily baked the day before the event, saran wrapped and iced, and assembled the following day. It has plenty of moisture from the pineapple and banana. It makes a wonderful birthday cake or dessert for Mother’s Day.

This beautiful Bon Apetit cake recipe caught my eye, the strips of rosy-red rhubarb a beautiful and easy embellishment. We know you will enjoy this lightly sweet and crunchy topping as much as our office team did, who devoured it with a flourish after we shot the photos.

When talk turned this spring to the imminent arrival of fresh local rhubarb, our Human Resources manager insisted I try her mom’s recipe, and I’m so glad she did! Research revealed that recipe variations appeared in the 1980s most popular cookbooks: Taste of Home, Betty Crocker, and Company’s Coming.

After one bite of these gooey summer strawberry crumb bars, you’ll understand why we’re so obsessed with them.

While we await the arrival of local strawberries, you can use our Lepp Grown frozen strawberries. Just be sure to thaw the berries and drain the liquid first!