When she’s not keeping busy as a political attorney, Christine Martin is baking up a political storm. Meet the brains behind the baking of Politics to Pastries.
1. What inspired you to start the blog Politics to Pastries?
Baking is my happy place. Like many attorneys, I’ve found that working in a profession prized for its critical thinking and analytical skills doesn’t always leave a lot of room for creativity. Add politics to the mix, and things can get a little intense. Toward the end of law school, I started to find that baking was a creative outlet for me. When I moved to DC, I began baking much more frequently – initially for friends’ birthdays, barbecues and parties, but eventually for the escape as well. It allows me to “shut off,” so to speak, and just create. All of these creations, of course, found their way onto social media, until one day I realized I was clogging up my personal feeds with pictures of cupcakes. It was around that time that multiple people began urging me to start a blog. At first, I thought it was a ridiculous idea, but the more pictures I took and recipe requests I received, I gave it some consideration. With the help of some very supportive friends and family, I started an Instagram account, did a ton of research, learned WordPress, launched the blog, and here we are!
It’s definitely a journey, but I’m having a lot of fun with it and am excited to see how it evolves. The icing on the cake? The ever-present abundance of sweets in my kitchen makes for some very happy friends and family.
2. What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever baked?
That would, hands down, have to be the “tree stump” cake I baked for Congressman’s Duffy’s lumberjack-themed birthday party a few weeks ago. I was given some creative license for that particular order, so it was a great chance to try something new. What we ended up with was a four-layered browned butter cake with a Nutella filling and chocolate fudge frosting, with the sides textured to look like tree bark and the top swirled to resemble tree rings. The cake, along with two dozen of my Maple Bacon Cupcakes, paired perfectly with all the flannel and axes that a lumberjack birthday party entails. The whole process was a ton of fun and gave me some great experience.
3. While most pastries are sweet, politicians tend to be the opposite. What do politics and pastries have in common?
It’s not about what they have in common, per se, but rather how they complement each other. I always say that baking facilitates bonding. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes – you name it – they make people smile and provide a shareable experience. Something about the sugar always seems to sweeten even the sourest of dispositions, and that, in turn, opens people up. Politics isn’t like pastries; politics needs more pastries.
4. Does your dream job entail more pastries or politics — and what’s that dream job?
Ask me on November 5th! In all seriousness, though, I really do love my job. I’ve even come to love it even more as we’ve gotten into the thick of election season, despite some of the crazier days. At the same time, I absolutely have a passion for baking, and have started to pursue that to a greater extent. With the launch of Politics to Pastries a few months ago, I’ve devoted a ton of time and energy to taking my baking to the next level, while building a brand along the way. I’ve learned so much about web design, have started delving more into photography, and have, of course, been busy expanding my baking skills. I even had the opportunity to spend some time in the District Doughnut kitchen while compiling my “P2P Pick” feature on their new storefront. The more I learn, the more I love it.
For now, though, I think my dream job is still having one on November 5th, so I’m keeping my sights set on growing the Republican Majority in the House. In the meantime, I’ll continue to experiment with my baking, take custom orders and see how Politics to Pastries grows. That way I can have my cake and eat it too.
5. Joe Biden calls and wants to learn to bake from you — what do you bake with him and why?
Well, thanks to recent press coverage and a picture-gone-viral, it’s no secret that the man loves ice cream. So since it’s fall, I think I’d probably opt for Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies – à la mode.