Baked Goods

Jan Van Boghout
2 min readMay 23, 2020


Entire pies fueled my high school cramming. Coworkers know me as the cookie monster, a sugar peddler or the patisserie king. Some of my happiest memories are watching my grandpa prepare his signature apple cinnamon pie and doing early morning runs for breakfast rolls. The smell of bread right out the oven always makes me feel warm and fragrant inside.

Bread goes with anything you want it to — although I still find it questionable with pasta. It’s the base for pizza. You start a relaxing day with it, reading a paper or chatting over breakfast with no urgency to get anywhere anytime soon. Later, it’s a companion to conversation as you mouth-water over the dinner to come. Crusty baguette, a bit of herb butter. Mmm.

Pastry is more special. It punctuates little adventures and celebrates togetherness. A lovely croissant in Paris before you go exploring. A treat for a friend that needs to get something off their chest. A pitstop on a wonderful afternoon. A token of appreciation for someone who really made your day. An extra for friendships yet to form.

Carbs are hard to beat and easy to eat when you’re low on energy, but most of all I find that baking deeply signifies human comfort and enjoying life. It doesn’t need to be complicated; there’s truth in simplicity. It makes someone happy, and sharing only makes it better.

One day during a painful legal skirmish about branding, opposing council tried to get me to sign away any ability to reference baked goods. The overwhelming absurdity of the demand finally made me understand I was dealing with an irrational party. Had a good bitter laugh about it, then told everyone to wrap up the madness and took my first step on the long path of moving on.

You can try to bring me down, but you’ll never have my cake and eat it too. Signed, cookie monster.