The power of baked goods – especially if they’re hand-made – to nurture people never fails to amaze me. When I owned a pie shop, people used to visit regularly seeking comfort to bolster themselves during trying times, allay loneliness or simply add a touch of much-needed sweetness to a stressful day. One afternoon, a woman came into the shop, gave me a shaky smile, and said, “My son just drove off to college for the first time. I really need a slice of warm pie.” I often grab for a cookbook when I’m feeling glum – there’s something about the process of baking that’s very nourishing. And what better thing to receive after having a baby, being sick, or going through a break-up than a freshly-baked brownie or upside down cake? I try to bring people baked goods (even if I don’t have time to make them myself) when I think their spirit needs some restoration – it feels like a particularly human gesture in an increasingly technological world.