Tuesday, January 29, 2008

100th Post!!

I'm so excited to write my 100th post. Since it has taken me FOREVER to get this post done, I have lots to say. But most of it, I will save for another day, another post. I've been planning on taking you on a walk down memory lane with me for this special post, plus sharing a previously unpublished recipe that you will want to have.

Just in case you don't make it to the end of this very long post, I'm going to make a request of my readers. Just this once, this one time, if you read my post, please leave me a comment! I think it would be so fun to see who is out there reading it, and I know that the majority of people reading this do not comment. You are free to comment under "anonymous" and then write your name in the message section so I know who you are. Pretty please? For me?

In reading other's blogs, I have realized that for the milestone of a 100th post, many bloggers choose a special topic, hold a contest, award prizes, and otherwise celebrate. I thought that I would tell you about a place that was a part of my life in my teenage years, a place where I had my first real job (if you don't count the tele-marketing research job I had briefly when I was 15,) where I made many friends, further developed my discriminating food palate, and picked up a few foodie tips. (The recipe at the end will be the special prize, to all who are willing to try it. You won't be sorry.)

Mason's Community Bakery was already a well known establishment in Uptown Whittier before I went there seeking employment. Before my job there, I knew it as the place my mom got full sheets of orange rolls when family was in town, and the bakery that made the 100 foot long cake for Whittier's centennial celebration. My mom suggested that I look there for a job, since I wanted somewhere that wouldn't require me to work on Sundays and that was the day they were closed. I applied and started working there just before the end of my junior year of high school (spring of 1990, if you must know how old I am). I quickly felt at home with the staff there and soon my best friend, Stephanie, was working there as well. Aren't we cute in our aprons and white collared shirts?
(The staff all referred to the color of our aprons and the decor in the bakery as "Mason Mauve." I still call it that when I run across it!) I worked there throughout my senior year, and then full time the next two summers. Many of the Christmases while I was a college student I would come home in time to work during their crazy holiday rush that came the week before Christmas and I would earn a little holiday cash.

Here's a photo that Mrs. Mason sent me of my family singing in 1990. It's blurry, but since it captured my family doing something we often did, I had to include it. Not sure why we are singing in the bakery (maybe caroling at the Uptown Whittier Christmas Cantata?) It was my dad's dream that we be like the Von Trapps and from my very early childhood we performed together in friends' homes, at church, and other spots (apparently at the bakery!)

My wedding cake came from Mason's Bakery. Their traditional wedding cakes were not only beautiful, but tasted amazing. The flavors weren't the gourmet ones that are popular at the moment--they were all tried and true classics--but once you tasted the cake, you wished you'd taken a bigger piece. Brides came from all over Southern California to get their wedding cake from Mason's Bakery. One summer after I was in college, my younger brother, Martin, was their wedding cake delivery boy. I still cringe to think of how dangerous that was, since Martin is at least as accident prone as I am! Here he is with a cake ready for delivery:
Other favorite memories of my Mason's days include singing to the music in the back (on a good day, it was tuned to a station that sang hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s,) eating lunch on the flour sacks, cracking jokes with Baker Bob and teasing Walter, the German baker (who many of the staff thought was a grump, but Steph and I knew how to make him smile and share a hot cookie!), watching Lupe split and fill cakes and Sue work the butter into the Danish, watching Mr. Mason decorate wedding cakes, and trying to see who could make Helen smile first. Helen had been with the Mason's for something like 30 years and she pretended to be scary and mean but she was actually sweet and soft and positively wonderful.

A bit of official history: Mason's was owned and operated by Walt and Barbara Mason. It had been in Mrs. Mason's family since 1946, when her father bought Community Bakery in East Los Angeles. In 1954, Walt & Barbara got married and Walt, just home from the Korean War, decided to work for his father in law while he figured out what he wanted to do in terms of college, etc. He found that he was good at it, and in 1965, Walt and Barbara bought the bakery from her parents. In 1985, they sold Community Bakery and opened Mason's Community Bakery in Uptown Whittier, closer to their home. Here is a photo that hung in both bakeries, of their oldest daughter, Teri, on her second birthday.Mason's Bakery was well known for many of their specialties: their chocolate eclairs were incomparable. I've never had anything like them. The custard was absolutely divine. Their traditional stollen was only made at Christmas and people came from all over to get it. Their breakfast danish was sooo good (although watching how much butter got worked into the dough each night was enough to keep will power strong--sometimes!) We also loved their white bread and cheese bread, which somehow tasted more like cake than bread. My favorite (and my family's) cookie out of the entire cookie case was the Dutch Girl. My dad called them Angel Tongues--I don't know why, but that's what they were known as around our house for years.
The Mason's and I have kept in touch over the years, writing letters to one another and often seeing one another when I'm in Whittier for a visit. Here's a photo of Mrs. Mason with Bronwen in May of 2007. I can't find a single picture of Mr. Mason, unfortunately. I'll have to get one. A few years ago, after they had sold the bakery in 2000 and moved into that glorious era known as retirement, they shared the Dutch Girl recipe with me. The bakery, under new ownership struggled, perhaps because others were not willing to sacrifice profit in order to use the highest quality ingredients, or perhaps because they were not willing to put the amazing amount of time required into the business. In any case, it is a loss for the community. I wish I could bop in for an eclair and a visit with the Mason's when I'm in Whittier. Instead, I do often get to visit with them in their home (which is nice) but without the eclairs. Bummer!

I recently asked the Mason's what they missed most about the bakery. Mrs. Mason named many of my favorite foods from there--the pecan rings, orange rolls, individual danish, and eclairs. Mr. Mason said he misses the plain butterhorn danish, but gets a hankering for orange rolls now and again. (Incidentally, the Mason's are very healthy eaters and as much as they miss these things, I am sure that they rarely indulged in them.)

Mrs. Mason also said she misses the people, both employees and patrons. She does not miss the financial pressures, the turnover of employees, or the health department visits!:) Mr. Mason does not miss any part of it!:) He enjoyed making it a success, but it so glad to have time now to do things he loves more, like golfing, playing music, making a guitar, and working in their beautiful garden that he wouldn't dream of going back! They frequently travel to visit their children and grandchildren and old friends.

Anyhow, the closing of the bakery is to the good fortune of my readers, because now I can share the Dutch Girl Recipe with you. It is somewhat labor intensive, but is well worth the work. The delicate pastry cookies are so light and heavenly (I guess that's why my dad dubbed them Angel Tongues.)

Mason's Bakery Dutch Girls

Ingredients (in two stages)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. rapid rise yeast
The first step of these cookies is to make a roll dough from the above ingredients. in your mixer, combine 3/4 cup flour, the sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water, and butter in the microwave until very warm (around 120-130 degrees.) Add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping sides of the bowl. Add the egg and mix in, then add remaining flour and mix until well combined. Weigh out 1 1/2 lbs of the roll dough and set aside for the cookies. Use the rest to make a couple of rolls!
Next, Combine the following ingredients in a mixer bowl:
  • 3/4 lb. flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 lb margerine (I use butter, since I never buy the M word, and it works fine)
  • 1/4 oz salt (about 3/4 tsp.)
Once well mixed, tear off chunks of roll dough and add to the bowl with the dough hook going, mixing lightly after each addition. Once all the dough is incorporated into the butter mixture, form long, thin logs, about 1" in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for easy handling.
Once the dough is firm enough to not be tacky, remove the logs from the fridge one at a time. Put sugar down on your work surface instead of flour. Cut the logs into balls about 1" or so and shape them into little fat sausages.Now put a generous amount of sugar on your work surface and roll them out two or three at a time into long, thin pieces (about 6" x 1.5"), turning frequently in the sugar. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 360 degrees for about 12 minutes. (I like them best when they are just a little bit brown on the edges, when the sugar has really carmelized.)
With the rolls of dough we made, each one made about 20 cookies. I froze several rolls to bake on another day, since these are irresistible, and one batch makes about 200 cookies, which is more than I want in my house at any given time. The day we made these, I took a big plate to an open house and asked the babysitter to finish them off while we were gone! Self preservation--these cookies are heavenly!

Whew. That has got to be my longest post ever. But I couldn' t leave anything out. I probably lost most of you long ago, but if not, don't forget to leave a comment as a special 100th post gift to me! (Yes, it is all about me after all!)


Anonymous said...

You bring back great memories. I run into Mason customers all the time and they all miss the bakery too. Everyone agrees that nothing comes close to Mason's.
The Mason's taught me a lot about great quality food and customer service.
While I'm so happy the Mason's are able to enjoy doing the things they love; I sure miss having them around. But then again, I lacked total will power when I worked there.
I could go on forever about my bakery memories; but out of consideration for your other readers, I won't.
Thank you for sharing and Happy

Anonymous said...

That was a great post .... Thats where you must have fine tuned you wonderful baking.... I'm sure if the Mason's have tasted your baking they would be proud... I going to make the cookies just as a special treat (maybe when i hit my 10% WW goal)....

scrap chair potato said...

I have been to Mason's, I recognized the picture immediately. I think it was one of the first places Mike took me when showing me his hometown 11 years ago.
Congrats on your 100th post!! I could read hundreds more!

Kim Sanderson said...

That was a great post Michal - and I can't wait to make the Dutch Girls - they were one of Grandma's favorites from the bakery as well. I also loved seeing the picture of the family singing - whenever I think of your family when you guys were growing up that is how I picture you all - singing together as a family. Thanks for the memories. Kim

Michal said...

how appropriate that a former mason girl would be the first one to read and comment! i'm so glad that we met through that experience. i remember filling cookies together on the back table after lupe was gone, and making our own custom chocolate chip/custard sandwiches with the leftover custard. i guess it's a good thing we don't work there anymore.

Michal said...

i plugged the recipe into WW and the cookies are only 1 point each. the only problem is that it is hard to not have five or seven.

Anonymous said...

Loved the cookies! When did you say you'll make more. I will babysit for food.(Cookies)


Anonymous said...

I just love your blog. I check in almost daily and I get very excited when I see a new post. What a sweet family you have.

Tell Jared hello for me!

Amy Husk

Andrea said...

We love mason's and were so sad to see it go!!! When we moved back to Whittier we would go every Saturday morning and get a treat. I would get an eclair for later because I LOVED them.

WE are excited to see you.

Rebecca said...

Happy 100th post! Those cookies look wonderful, and thank you for sharing your memories.

I really want an eclair now!!!!!

Anonymous said...


I am one of the many that can't wait to read your blog, and I NEVER leave a comment! In honor of the 100th, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I couldn't help but tear up thinking of you and your dad enjoying angel tongues together!!! Food is such a source of memories and connections, it's hard to imagine that anyone can be a size 6.

Thank you so much for all the fun stories and yummy recipes. I will post again at number 200!

Much love,

Love the sunshine... said...

Yeah ... yippee ... congratulations on your 100th post. I check this post daily (you have to know that by now!) It is such a let down when there is not a new one. It's like waiting for that Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and all you get is a new sweater or something :) I am anxiously awaiting all of your post for you to get to your 200th one. Please tell the boys I said hello and I think of them daily. I have learned to make a "Waldorf look-a-like" doll (would be glad to make one for the baby.) Please feel free to post some yummy soup recipes. Love and miss, Tawny

Mahina said...

congrats on reaching your 100th post! it's a great milestone in the life of a blogger!

i love the name of the bakery, it's a GREAT name!! hehe!

Morgan said...

What a lovely story! Happy 100th post!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I can't wait to try out that recipe. Give us a hollar next time you are in town.


Rhonda said...

Thanks for the memories...that job was really a blessing, as they closed Sundays and holidays - when you wanted the time off, as a teenager. I remember timing our family vacations to match the 2 weeks Mason's was closed in the summer.
I also read daily - actually several times a day, for the pictures of the grandchildren:)

Anonymous said...

Michal- boy did that bring back memories.... I remember the Bakery OH so well, and all of the ways you described it...I miss singing Little Mermaid while cleaning out the shelves after close....and who could be better bosses than the Masons? Thanks for those memories.. P.S. I think I remember your family singing...it must have been the cantata:)

mindyluwho said...

Happy 100! You didn't lose me, I made it all the way to the end and wanted more! What wonderful memories. Those cookies look divine, I'm going to have to give them a try.

I love your blog and am always happy when you have a new post. Here's to 100 more!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts and have been anxiously awaiting this recipe ever since Jared spilled the beans a couple weeks ago. I will have to try this one. I also check your post almost daily. I know you are busy and I can't imagine posting daily (like Pioneer Woman - where does she get the time!)

Thanks for the good read! Debbie Nowland

Yvonne said...

I too read/check your blog daily and always enjoy your insights, inspirations and recipies! Oh, how I loved Mason's! My mom lives in the condos around the corner and I used to justify an eclair by "walking" there to get it! The cookies we served at my wedding shower were from Mason's...the little butter cookies with the pastel dots of icing in the middle? Oooooh....I miss that place so much! Thank you for the recipie...I am brave/crazy enought to try to make them! Thank you for a wonderful walk down memory lane! Congrats on your 100th post. I am FAR from that goal!

Jen said...

I have to confess I prefer walking into a bakery and buying one yummy treat over spending hours baking, only to end up with way too many calories in my own home. So I'm sad I can't go to Msaon's. But it was a great post anyway! I love to see photos of you and your family when you were younger. I always love to read your blog.

Jen H.

Molly said...

Hi Michal,
I can't wait to try that recipe! It sounds like I need to wait until I have an event to go to so I can take them. Happy 100!

Rebecca said...

Michal...I remember the first event we went to at the Pickering Ward when we moved there in March 2000 was something at Michigan Park, a social of some sort, I think a kite flying day. Anyways we stopped at Masons and got a box of chocolate chip cookies to take and I remember those better than the event! We went back to Mason's often after that! I'm glad we found it when we did so we could enjoy before they were gone.

I don't have a kitchen scale...how would I weight out the 1 1/2 lbs. of dough? Weight myself and then hold the dough until it goes up 1.5 lbs.? Probably better yet would be to have a kitchen scale, huh?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! My mom has kept me abreast of your doings over the years. I have had fun lurking on your blog as well.
I am so glad that I am no longer the only one who makes Dutch Girls! I have to tell you the first time we made them (under my dad's careful instruction) we made 700! We had the whole family spread out over the kitchen and dining room with dowels and sugar. It only took us all day :-) I think 200 is much more manageable!
Keep up the blogging!
Janine Mason Kramer

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...


Happy 100th Blog. I know I posted something last night...sorry it didn't go through!

Those cookies sound "DIVINE!"

We also babysit for cookies...Just hop on the I-80 going east, push the kids out at exit 272 in Nebraska with a box or two of "Dutch Boy's" and you are good to go for a few days.

Thanks for keeping us up on the Thomas familY!

Love it!
The Nebraska Snider's

Anonymous said...

For you I will leave a comment...because I wish we lived close enough to be "see each other everyday and let me watch your kids so you can run an errand" friends...instead of "once we were roommates and now we send Christmas card" friends.
I love reading your blog! You have a gift and it brightens my days. By the way, I just ordered your favorite book of 2007 and can't wait for it to come.
Love, Janet

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I am glad my parents bakery was such a blessing to so many. I also worked there in my teens (at the East L.A. location back in the Dark Ages). I wish you hadn't reminded me of all the goodies I have tried not to think about missing. I am my dad's daughter...plain butterhorn danish, mmmm. Congratulations on your 100th blog!
Christy Mason Trupe

Allison said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! I miss Mason's Bakery too. The ├ęclairs, white bread and Dutch Girls were my favorite too. Although everything there was good! I was also a big fan of the cinnamon bow ties and pie squares. I even worked in the back at Mason's a couple of times over the holidays to help bag dinner roll orders. All I can say is, "What a dangerous place to work." I would have put on 100 pounds if I worked there regularly!

Kimberly said...

Congrats! And thanks for the recipe - I can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm Bethany Trupe-Sobraske, the Mason's grand-daughter. I can't tell you how great it is to know that so many (including youself, of course!) have been effected in such great ways by my grandparents and the bakery!
I loved reading the post (forwarded by Gramma) and remembering. Some of my favorites:
1) Watching Lupe split and fill (yes, it was pretty great)
2) Hoping that someone would forget to pick up their order so we could take it home and eat it :)
3) Getting a forgotten 3-tier wedding cake for my 6th birthday decorated with California Raisins! (all that hoping paid off)
4) Working at the bakery during the holiday rush and smelling Gramma's work shirts (mmmm, cookies!)
5) Sneaking pieces of cake shavings in the stainless steel bowl in the back :)

So, thank you again for the walk down memory lane!


Anonymous said...

Yes, I read but never comment. The cookies sound good but I would never make anything where the recipe was so long I had to scroll down several times!

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot to sign the post I sent anonymously a minute ago.

Anonymous said...

We don't have Mason's anymore but I have you! Loved the cookies...I'm so glad you don't make them often.

Congrats on the 100th. I love to read your blog. I'm so proud of you. And like Nana said, pics of the grandkids makes it priceless.

Myrna Mom

Jim Hutchings said...

Should I feel dumb that I'm the only "Dude" that seems to read your blog? But you know I love your family, and I’ll jump at any excuses for a study break….so how can I not read up? Congratulations on 100 posts, quite an accomplishment!

Martin said...

Mason's Bakery was the best. I loved their cheesebread and cinnimon rolls.

I had lots of adventures delivering cakes, and while I never dropped one, people liked to pretend to trip me at every delilvery.

I worked one of those crazy Christmas holidays for like 18 hours straight - it was awesome.

Michal said...

you're just one of the few dudes who will honor my wishes and comment.
you're in good company. i'm glad you read!

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on the 100th post!
This has been a great way to keep up on all that is going on in your life.

I can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing me to Mason's so many years ago. I still have lust in my heart for the chocolate eclairs. Erin

nickandstaci said...

YAY for 100 posts! What a great post. I enjoy reading your blog!

Melissa said...

We loved Mason's! They made the best birthday cakes and we went there quite often-thanks to your recomendation! We were sad when they closed!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michal,

I've been sneaking around on your blog and not leaving comments since I got your Christmas card! I'll just comment right now on all the things that have inspired me:
homeschooling (I have seriously been considering this myself for the past year), weight loss (yes, after the last two babes, there is a little extra to me I'm working on losing), motherhood (just seeing the picture of you and Bronwen at the top of your page helps me remember the sweetness of motherhood), and getting to know your family has been fun.

Thank you so much!

Becky A.

Emily said...

I may be the only person that reads your blog that you don't know! Your posts are always great, I can't resist. I have never commented before, but I always enjoy. Congrats on your 100th!

Emily (Scrappy's sister)

Anonymous said...

Michal - What a fun post. I loved hearing about your time at the bakery and seeing all of the fun pictures.
Congratulations on you 100th post.

Jim Hutchings said...

You're glad I read your blog...or your just glad I read? =)

Mrs. Morty said...

I blog stalk you on occasion from scrappy's blog. Congratulations on your 100th post!!

Aubrey said...

I think I gained 3 pounds just reading that! What great memories. It's nice to wax nostalgic once in a while!

Mary Woodman said...

I'm going to have to try these!!

Anonymous said...

Michal, I love your blog. I am a sporadic reader, but I'm always so excited to catch up when I read. This was a fun one--I remember hearing all about Mason's when we were first roommates freshman year. And I love the picture of your family!


mommyofthree said...

I also read (through Scrap Chair Potato's blog) but haven't commented. I love your writing and thought about nominating you for a writing award when I got one--but it seemed too weird since I don't know you.
Anyway...if you feel better reading people who read you, send Scrappy an e-mail and I will invite you to read my blog. I trust you, even if you are related to The Deanery. ;) (hee-hee, he'll love that.)
Congrats on 100 posts--thanks for letting me "blog stalk."
--Scrap Chair's other sister

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the 100th! Keep 'em coming.


Karin said...

Hi Michal, it is great to read your post. I found it from reading Melissa and Rebecca's blogs. It is great to see how everyone's families are doing.
Karin Grimm

Anonymous said...

I was looking for info on the “Original” Community Bakery in East L.A. and I came across your blog. I used to love that bakery in the 50’s 60’ and 70’s. I moved away and I always wondered what happened to it. Now I know! I wish I had tried “Mason’s” in Whittier. I thoroughly enjoyed your posting. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post, it has given me an opportunity to say thank you for such lovely memories. Each year, my mom would buy all of our birthday cakes from Mason's, and they had to be their wonderful chocolate cake with the chocolate frosting and roses on top. Then when I had a family of my own, Mason's was the only bakery to bake " the perfect chocolate cake for my children's birthdays. Mason's bakery and I go back forty years. Since their closing, I have searched and searched for that perfect chocolate cake of years gone by. Perhaps they might consider a cookbook of recipes. Perhaps someone might know their chocolate cake recipe. I would so appreciate it. Once again, thank you for the memories.

Cindy and family

Anonymous said...

If Mason's was the bakery that sold those date "pillow cookies" (and apple ones too) then I truly miss this place. As a kid, my grandparents would always buy me these, knowing they were my absolute favorite. I have spent the rest of my adult years trying to find/replicate them, and havent been successful. Do you happen to have the recipe for those????

Anonymous said...

Masons - oh and the Whittier I grew up in - I remember going to St. Mary's then coming here to stare at the stuff being made behind the window...

Samantha said...

Is there anyway you can post the chocolate chiffon cake recipe??:)

Anonymous said...

Wow ive been searching and searching for stuff on mason's bakery, and ive finally found something that, i think, can maybe help me! you! lol.
My future for me is to be a baker, but just in cakes, cupcakes, stuff like that! Nothing major! but the only recipe for cakes that ive ever loved, was of course, Mason's!!! Ive never had another cake or cupcake that tasted so good!! I was so extremely sad the day i found out they werent there anymore, and that day happened to be when i came down for a visit in whittier, and wanting one of there delicious cupcakes, and they werent there anymore!! :o( i was heartbroken!
Well to get to my point!! i would SO love to get a hold of the Mason's and get there recipe for there frosting and cake of course!! if i need to buy there recipe, i will!! theres is the only one i would want people to be tasting when they eat my cakes someday!! is there anyway you can ask them or see how i can go about doing something like that?? Please?? lol :o) email me here, eevalr1224@yahoo.com, and we can talk more there! or else i can go on forever about masons on here!!
oh and btw, i love your blog!! and i swear i remember you and your friend when my mom use to take me to mason's! lol thank you for your time!

smorgan said...

Hi my name is morgan.My mom used to take me to Masons bakery every day after i got out of school.I used to get there apple muffins and a few of there thumbprint cookies. I have tried to recreate them but to only fail. If you have those recipies or maybe have an idea of how to make them i would greatly appreciata it.thank you

cooknwoman said...

Dearest Michal - I just love you so much, your blog and these pictures bring Mason's Bakery right to the forfront of my thougthts and warm my heart! Oh, what memories I have!!! From what I see, you are doing a fabulous job of motherhood - your children are just as beautiful as you are still!

I have wondered all these years about how you are doing, I have mentioned you to Mark on several occasions (who is now my husband!) Your kindness, sweet nature, shiny red cheeks, ear to ear smile and warm hug were always something to look forward to!

I would love to touch base sometime - take care,
much love and warm hugs, Susie Pederen (Bittner) aka "mama Sue"

cooknwoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamamatu said...

Nostalgia got me searching for Mason's Community Bakery and I came across your blog. To me, the greatest tragedy is having no more access to their wonderful pineapple filled cakes. Sweet without being cloying, flavorful with bits of pineapple, they were the cake filling of choice for my family. We mourn the passing of this phenomenal bakery with every event that we host that needs cake. I have tried countless recipes found online for pineapple filling, but none are the same as Mason's. Any hopes of sharing that recipe? I can only pray that someday, someone will generously share that delicious filling with us. Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Michal -

I'm just now reading your blog on Mason's Bakery. So sorry for the delay with my reply!

In late January 1988, shortly after my husband and I chose Mason's to create our wedding cake, he accompanied me and my parents to the bakery so we could all select the frosting, the batter, and the fillings for our cake. Not only do I remember how scrumptious the cake was -- French vanilla buttercream frosting and french vanilla batter, with raspberry and lemon fillings between layers -- I recall how kind, helpful, and astonishingly patient the Mason's chef was. (Sadly, I don't remember her name.) The cake itself was not only a hit our wedding day, it was marvelous a year later: We froze the top layer and enjoyed it on our first wedding anniversary.

Let's hear it for a terrific Whittier institution that is truly missed to this day.

P.S. My husband and I will celebrate our silver wedding anniversary next February. If Mason's were still in business, we'd be sure to order one of their terrific cakes for our next special day.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michal,

I too worked at Masons's in my high school years.. But never truly grasped the magnitude of Masons's... It was my first job and never working in a bakery I thought this was just the norm... I was sooo wrong.. From the environment to the cakes to the staff to the window where you could watch Mr. Mason and Kathy decorate cakes... There is nothing like it and sad to say never will be... Their buttercream was the best... And have never come close to finding a recipe that can match it....
I wish I could have known then what I know now... About how unique Mason's was... Mr. Mason was an amazing cake decorator, Mrs. Mason was a stickler for her right facing bill's in the register ;) I learned great deal from the Mason's, the bakery, and their faithful patrons and appreciate the time I was there..
I was a Mason's employee when they sold and to say the least the new owner knew nothing of running a class act machine like that bakery... it was ran in to the ground with a month or two without the Mason's love and care.. They let the morning ladies go first, then Kathy the decorator left, then the guy in the back who mixed all those wonderful creations up.. They couldn't understand it was people's home not just some "investment".. The love was gone and soon too was "Mason's"...
I wish I could get a hold of Kathy she was soo sweet... Thank you for sharing and bringing back soo many great memories...
Crystal :)

suzie marie said...

Ahh, the wonderful memories you brought back from yesteryear. My mom would always buy our birthday cakes every year without having to give it a second thought, not one bakery in E.L.A. would compare to the Community Bakery (named back in the sixties before they moved to Whittier) we then followed and continued to frequent with Mason's no matter how far we
lived we still managed to travel the distance. Thanks for the great memories, I wish they
would've continued the tradition with family members. I soooo miss Mason's no other bakery
would ever compare.

Anonymous said...

Now I finally know what happened to the best bakery ever. I too have many fond memories with their beautiful and delicious cake creations. I was just telling
my friends about the beautiful Ninja Turtle cake that Mr. Masons created. The cakes were out of town his world!!!! I have tried many bakeries but nothing compares to the taste and the beauty they would create.
I wished the family would have taken over the business. Please encourage the Masons to write a cook book!! It would be a Best Seller. They could make a fortune! Thank you for the blog. Virginia