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“Pastry Angel”
Helen Kaufmann | Condesa Drive

Carly Michaels. Photo Helen Kaufmann.
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Thanks to local volunteer Carly Michaels, seniors are now enjoying delicious homemade desserts at Del Mar Community Connections (DMCC) luncheons. With treats ranging from simple cookies to carrot cake and peach tatin, Michaels has impressed diners so much that they call her their “pastry angel.”

Since getting involved with DMCC three years ago, Michaels has enjoyed driving residents to appointments and helping them with shopping as a shuttle bus hostess. Then in July, she came up with the idea of enhancing bi-monthly luncheons with desserts. Describing herself as someone who loves to cook and eat, she says a small taste is all she needs to satisfy her sweet tooth and that she’s happy to share her culinary creations with Del Mar’s seniors.

Carly Michaels’s pastries. Photo Helen Kaufmann.

When selecting recipes, Michaels gets inspiration from the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, food websites, Sunset Magazine, and HGTV cooking shows. She also likes to prepare recipes she learned from her mother, like butter cookies and rice pudding. While she was initially concerned that luncheon attendees might be picky eaters due to food allergies or specific tastes, she soon discovered that they are as adventurous as she is in trying new things. For a recent luncheon she prepared an apple-pear streusel crumble that was very well received, and she is already researching recipes for the coming month.

Michaels urges anyone interested in community involvement to consider volunteering with DMCC, noting that the organization provides a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and be constantly inspired by men and women who have blazed so many trails. “They’re grateful to me, and I’m grateful to them,” she said. “Through them I’ve learned about life and aging and the importance of staying active. I hope I can be as vital.”



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