Oxford grandmother excited for kids cooking show contest

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 31, 2015

By Stephanie Rebman and Alyssa Schnugg

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Jean Shaw will be glued to the television set Monday when her granddaughter stars on a Food Network baking competition.

The Oxford grandmother might even have influenced a recipe or two Jane Haviland used while on “Kids Baking Championship,” which will air at 7 p.m.

The 11-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan, looks forward to her visits with Shaw each year. If she’s lucky, they visit Oxford twice a year. While she’s here, she and Shaw enjoy their baking time together.

“One of our favorite recipes is a pecan pie and we make that every year,” Jane said. “We also make a really good gingerbread cake with lemon curd.”

Jane said her grandmother has helped her become a better baker.

“She helped me a lot when I was younger,” she said. “She gives me tips and stuff.”

Shaw said Jane started cooking at an early age and has kept it up, so much so that even though Shaw doesn’t cook too many desserts, she does when Jane visits or when she heads to Michigan three or four times a year.

“Jane has been interested in cooking, especially baking, literally her whole life,” Shaw said. “She would sit on the counter while her mom baked.”

Jane started baking when she was 3 years old, with the help of her mother and grandmother.

“I got more serious about it a few years ago when I could take things out of the oven by myself,” Jane said.

With that seriousness came sharing her creations. As a Girl Scout, one of Jane’s projects was baking and bringing the goods to a local nursing home.

Since she’s busy in the kitchen, there’s not too much TV watching at their home in Michigan, but the family does enjoy watching the Food Network and competition shows like “Cupcake Wars,” Shaw said. That sparked Jane’s interest in trying out for a show, which involved a video submission, Skype interviews, a screen test and a couple trips to Los Angeles. It was filmed over the summer in California.

Haviland can’t talk about the show much since it hasn’t aired yet, but she could say she enjoyed being there a whole lot.

“It was amazing,” she said. “All the people were friendly and nice. It was pretty stressful at times but definitely a lifetime opportunity.”

Shaw also doesn’t know much about how Jane did on the show but said she is going to record every show she’s on and is proud of her.

“I have been very excited about them,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

For now, Jane will keep on cooking no matter how well she does on the show, and when she’s an adult, she wants to own a bakery.

“I’ve also been thinking about having a dessert food truck,” she said. “I think that would be pretty cool.”