Baker delivers chef’s choice âpajama boxesâ on Saturday mornings
There is nothing better on a Saturday morning than waking up to some homemade pastries, especially if you don’t have to bake them. That’s the idea behind Rachel Curran’s âPajama Boxesâ – a dozen assorted baked goods made from scratch and delivered between 8:30 am-10am, so recipients don’t have to change their pajamas.
Pajama boxes are one of many projects Curran is planning under the Odd Bird Baking Co. name, which she started about five years ago, she said.
âI went to cooking school – I never thought I was going to be a pastry chef,â she said. “I just thought I would be a tasty chef, but I just fell into it.”
Curran worked in several bakeries during his career, decorating cakes and pastries, in addition to baking all kinds of foods.
âI just fell in love with it,â she said. âAnd then I had kids and I knew I wanted to be home with them, so I walked away. Odd Bird kind of came from there – wanting to always be relevant in my field and always have that outlet. , but not having the commitment to go to work every day, being able to take it and put it down as my life allows. “
Curran’s family moved to Durango about two and a half years ago and began packing their pajama boxes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking a break around December and bringing them back at the end of the day. ‘summer.
âWe had been in the pandemic for a few months, and I was looking for a way to bring some comfort and pleasure to people,â she said. “I just tried to do something fun and different and bring the bakery to people.”
Pajama Box pastries always feature at least two of each of the six varieties of pastries. Curran said two of the types of pastry are generally gluten-free.
âI use all my own recipes, and they are a surpriseâ¦ I prepare them all fresh; I use the best ingredients I can find. I try to source locally when I can, âshe said. âPeople have to be ready for anything when they open the box. “
Pastries can take almost any form – Danish, morning rolls, coffee cakes. All classic breakfast pastries except croissants may appear.
âI’m kind of trying to hit something a little crunchy, something a little mushier,â Curran said. “I also often like a brownie or a cookie.”
What sets Curran’s pastries apart from others is the imagination that drives them. While the type of baked product is always something familiar, the pastry chef tends to imbue her creations with a new ingredient, transforming them for the better. For example, a recent box included snickerdoodles with miso paste, whole wheat cookies with harissa, and banana bread with tahini.
âI try to bring unusual touches, unexpected things to classic pastries,â she said. “I don’t want to go too crazy, where you’re like, ‘Sounds cool and interesting, but I don’t want to eat this.’ I try to stay accessible, where it’s something that is a bit off the beaten track.
Curran limits deliveries to Durango city limits, but is open to setting up meeting points with people who may be out of reach. The boxes can be ordered on the Odd Bird website, www.oddbirdbaking.co.
More than pastries
Curran makes everything from scratch in her home kitchen under the Cottage Food Act, using a KitchenAid mixer and standard oven, she said. But she plans to change that in the near future. She hopes to move into a commercial space soon, which will allow her to offer a wider variety of goods and services.
âI’m a bit limited in what I can do,â she said. “It was cool because I can just work from home, but I hope I can bring more to the table.”
She said her space would likely open a production kitchen, but would like to eventually be able to accommodate pop-up businesses and the like.
Curran also wants to offer tastings and classes on skills such as cake decorating.
“I would love to do cookie decorating – usually during the holidays I make hand painted sugar cookies which is really fun, and I think a lot of people can take that home and use this skill. at home, âshe said. âI would also like to do lessons for children.
As Odd Bird Baking Co. evolved, it could take on all kinds of tasks.
âThe community here is so supportive of small businesses,â Curran said. âI have a lot of dreams. I would love to do weddings and special events. I would love to do wholesale accounts which I am not able to do under the Cottage Food Act at this time.
Right now, however, the baker plans to focus on one thing in particular: pies.
âI really want to bake pies,â she said. âI got very excited. Fall, I feel like it’s pie time … and I have some really fun ideas for some pies.
The seasons and flavors that people naturally seek out at different times of the year inspire Curran’s choices.
âI feel like in the fall you want things that are creamier, decadent, maple and spicy,â she said. âHere in this city the seasons are so crisp and distinct. There is so much great food and so many amazing farms.