Islanders have an abundance of hidden talents and newcomer Gerryanne Bohn of Driftless Cookies is no exception. If you want to see just how creative the special education teacher is, check out The Food Network's show "Christmas Cookie Challenge" at 8 p.m. Sunday, December 11. Gerryanne will be competing against four other bakers.
"Christmas Cookie Challenge" will be streaming on fuboTV, Discovery Plus Amazon Channel, DIRECTV, Discovery Plus, Food Network or for free with ads on Food Network.
Three years ago, she was searching for a new hobby and tried decorating sugar cookies. The reaction she received when she brought cookies to her going away party from her first teaching job, helped her realize how popular her product was. Then COVID hit freeing up more time for baking.
Gerryanne inherited her artistic talent from her grandfather, who was a Professor of Art, and from her father.
Meanwhile, Gerryanne and her husband Adam, who are both obsessed with whales, were looking for a place to celebrate Gerryanne's 30th birthday. The San Juan Islands were an easy choice for the Wisconsin couple.
She told Adam that the islands felt right and she thought they should move here. His response was it might work, if she could find a job. Looking in the classifieds, she saw an opening for a special education teacher. Turns out that one had already closed, but she was hired when the next position opened up. Adam began working with the Port of Friday Harbor. And to complete the trifecta, they found housing which allowed dogs. They moved to San Juan Island in June 2021.
So how did Gerryanne end up on the Food Network show? Her mother-in-law asked Gerryanne if she would ever like to be on the cookie competition show. The two were watching last year's competition. Gerryanne answered no because she only has one recipe, and the show requires more. She also thought the bakers weren't given enough time. Her Royal Icing takes 12 hours to harden.
While she didn't apply, The Food Network found her through her Instagram postings. She was selected and competed against four other bakers at the end of April 2022.
Gerryanne has a Cottage Food Certification that allows her to bake items at home and sell them. It requires certain equipment and an inspection. There are limits to what can be done. For instance, she can't ship out of state.
Gerryanne is booked solid until after the New Year. However, you are not out of luck if you'd like some of the sugar cookies. She'll be at the Old-Fashioned Holiday Market at the Brickworks. The three-day event takes place December 9, 10 and 11. Gerryanne will be there on one day only, Saturday, December 10.
For more information, check out Gerryanne's Driftless Cookies website.
Why the name Driftless Cookies?! According to her website: Before moving to the San Juan Islands, I was raised in the driftless region of Wisconsin. The driftless is a portion of Wisconsin that was untouched by glacial drift. This left the land to have an abundance of steep, forested ridges and deeply carved river valleys. Considering I love nature and find solace in it, I figured paying homage to my homeland would be a good fit. Driftless also means without aim or direction, and I think people often find themselves and their true creativity in times of wander.