The Windham Eagle
As someone who believes that everyone can learn to cook and bake, accomplished writer and baking enthusiast Collette Hayes is hoping to make a difference in the lives of readers of The Windham Eagle.
Hayes, a retired educator who moved permanently to the Lakes Region of Maine in May, has joined the staff of writers for The Windham Eagle to report about events and issues affecting the Windham and Raymond community. She will also create a new recipe column for readers called “Cooking Corner,” which is featured in this week’s edition of the newspaper.
Recipes from Hayes will appear every other week and she said they will be easy to prepare and delicious to eat.
“People have the misconception that cooking, and baking is like being an artist and that’s totally not true,” Hayes said. “Anybody can learn the skills to cook and bake, it’s like learning math or chemistry. Everyone enjoys good food and I believe everyone can develop the skills required to prepare and cook a good meal.”
After spending summers in Maine for the past 30 years, Hayes chose to relocate here permanently in May coming from Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in education from Utah State University.
Along with a lengthy career as a classroom educator, Hayes also served as a mentor and advisor at the college level for new teachers and has extensive writing experience.
She has authored children’s stories for renowned watercolor artist Eric Mohn and has been a contributor to the Simply Bake blog for some time.
According to Hayes, she enjoys baking because it’s a creative pursuit for her.
“I like the idea of how food brings people together,” Hayes said. “Sunday dinner is a bonding time for families. I like not only the creative aspect of creating a meal, but also the bonding when people sit down together to eat it.”
The most challenging aspect of cooking and baking for Hayes is precisely the reason she wanted to create a new regular recipe column for The Windham Eagle.
“The hardest thing for me is finding a recipe and then perfecting it,” she said. “These recipes are ones I’ve come up with and taken the guesswork out of them for everyone.”
Besides her recipe column, Hayes says she can’t wait to begin reporting on stories that matter to her and for readers of the newspaper.
“My main focus is to get to know people in the community and become a part of it and contribute to this community,” she said. “Writing is my passion and it’s a perfect way to get to know this community.”
Managing Editor Ed Pierce of The Windham Eagle says that Hayes is a welcome addition to the newspaper staff.
“Collette is serious about writing and is enthusiastic about covering topics that matter,” he said. “She’s highly intelligent and a very capable person who can chronicle events, people and issues in Windham and Raymond with accuracy and objectively.”
Pierce said he’s looking forward to sampling some of the recipes Hayes will include in future columns.
“We’re happy to be able to liven up the Entertainment Page for readers with Collette’s new column,” Pierce said. “Movie reviews will still appear every other week, but anyone who has an interest in cooking and baking will now find valuable tips and instructions for preparing simple and easy recipes in The Windham Eagle twice a month. And I plan on trying out some of her recipes myself.” <