Vanilla bean, saffron, a pasta extruder, and a blow torch...
Definitely not the typical Christmas list
of an eight-year-old child. But Saylor’s
parents, Madison and Lyndsay Herrin,
were not surprised. The oldest of their
four children and only daughter began
experimenting in the kitchen with
her mother at the age of six. Since the
Herrins did not have a cable or satellite
TV, Saylor used apps to watch episodes
of baking shows. The year Saylor made
out her culinary Christmas list was
2015, which was also the year Kids
Baking Championship with judges
Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes
and Valerie Bertinelli of Valerie’s Home
Cooking first aired.
“She would bring me recipes from
the show that she wanted to try,”
said her mother Lyndsay. “At first,
I was nervous about her using the
mixer and the oven. One day, I was
helping her, and she said, ‘Oh no! The
chocolate seized!’ I said, ‘What’s that
mean?’ I knew she didn’t need my help
By the age of eight, Saylor was
baking on her own. I don’t mean
making cookies from refrigerated
cookie dough you buy at the grocery
store in a tube. Saylor was measuring
and mixing and making delicious
deserts from scratch.
At the end of each season of Kids
Baking Championship, Saylor listened
carefully as kids between the ages of
10 and 13 were encouraged to apply
for a chance to compete on their show.
In 2017, when Saylor turned ten, she
sent in her application with literally
thousands of other applicants from
across the nation. The Herrins did
not want to discourage Saylor, but the
chances of actually making it on the
show seemed slim.
“Some of the children who
compete on those baking shows
have famous parents who are bakers
themselves,” said Lyndsay. “They go
to summer camps just for baking like
our kids go to baseball camp or football
camp here in the South. There’s
nothing like that for Saylor here in
Ailey, Georgia,” she laughed. “We were
on our own.”
I nodded as I tried to pace myself
with the delicious blueberry scone
Saylor had made for my visit that
morning. What eleven-year-old kid gets
up early in the morning and makes
scones from scratch? I wondered.
We’re not talking toast. We’re talking
scones, no less.
Lyndsay offered me a cup of coffee
with my blueberry scone. She said,
“It’s Tim Horton’s. My parents bring it
to us from Canada.” I smiled. I’m one
of those people who get out of bed in
the morning just for the coffee. My
husband grinds expensive coffee beans
each night for our morning coffee. If
anyone was qualified to judge a cup
of coffee, it would be me. I took a sip
and then another. It was so smooth
and yet rich with flavor. I was ruined.
“Canada?” wondering how was I going
to get coffee from Canada.
Lyndsay smiled. The native
Canadian met her husband while
attending Brewton-Parker College on a
softball scholarship. “My parents said,
‘You can go there, but don’t find an
American boy to marry.’” She laughed.
Her husband is now the softball coach
at BPC where he also serves as the
Baptist campus minister.
Back to the delicious blueberry
Hometown Living At Its Best 65