Eight-year-old Jolie is a third-generation resident of Big Timber and a fifth-generation lollipop maker. The set of cast iron molds in whimsical animal shapes, along with a handwritten original recipe, have been handed down among daughters of a group of friends, with Jolie recently becoming the fifth recipient. She has also followed tradition by selling her first batch at area bazaars during the recent Christmas season.
Jolie made the first batch with her mother and grandmother and others who had made the lollies before, and the event was interwoven with memories of the woman, now deceased, who started it all. It seems that a warm community can be formed around lollipops.
With six flavors (cinnamon, bubblegum, butterscotch, pina colada, root beer, and tutti frutti) and 60 lollipops in each flavor batch, that's a lot of candy. But then, whatever doesn't sell, Jolie gets to eat, and there is no complaint there!
Two years ago Jolie began her sales career by making puppy treats with her grandmother to sell at the Big Timber farmers market, and now she also sells bags of creamy, soft caramel corn and other goodies.
She can't remember when she started cooking, but even at 4 years old she was inventing colorful healthy dishes like Jolie's Pasta (carrots, grapes, and cheese sticks, each sliced and put in a serving dish) and Jolie's Stew (grapes, carrots, and raspberries from the garden), proudly serving these to her mother as an after-work snack.
Jolie's goal is to earn $1,000 in a single year from her cooking. She still has a way to go at present, but she is working hard to get there.
Apart from cooking, Jolie is a very busy gal. She also enjoys riding horses, drawing, painting, playing baseball, volleyball, and basketball, reading, fishing, playing piano . . . Whew -- well, you name it, and she's probably getting ready to go do it!
Her advice for other kids wanting to cook: "Sometimes when something doesn't look fun to bake, it can be fun."
Jolie certainly enjoys cooking, but she is limited in what she can do on her own, and sometimes that is frustrating. "The non-fun part is when mama just has to do it," she said. Jolie definitely does not like sitting aside and watching her mother pour molten sugar for the lollies or stir the hot caramel corn.
Jolie has big plans simmering, so watch for her this summer at the Big Timber farmers market -- and perhaps the Livingston market -- and at the winter bazaars.
Of course Jolie wouldn't share her secret recipes for the other goodies she makes (what I was thinking to even ask!), but she generously gave me this zucchini bread recipe.
Cream together 3 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
In another bowl, sift 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 finely grated zucchini, 8 ounces crushed pineapple, and 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Alternate adding flour mixture and zucchini mixture to creamed mix.
Fold into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.