Ray is not a baker by trade; she learned how to combine butter, sugar and flour to good effect from her mother. “What I remember is we were kids out in the backyard all the time. There was a lot of running back and forth between the backyard and kitchen,” she recalls. That open door between her childhood kitchen and backyard garden remains one of Ray’s pivotal memories. She went on to study international education and relations in college, which led to stints with the United Nations, political and policy campaigns, and Google. But through it all, she kept baking. It served as a creative outlet while she was working corporate jobs, she says, and became even more important to her during COVID shutdowns.
“The places where I’m at peace the most, where I’m most comfortable and feel most at home, are kneading dough in my kitchen and in my garden,” she says.
She was inspired to bring together the two places she so loved by incorporating herbs and blooms into her baking. “The first thing I started baking with was lavender,” she recalls. “Then I started doing more research into edible flowers that you can eat whole. One that’s surprising to a lot of people