About Me

The Virginia Renaissance Faire Crew

Greetings! And welcome to my blog! My name is Connie Teunis, also
known as Constance, of Constance’s Bakery at the Virginia Renaissance
. Here, you will find a variety of baked foods presented in a variety of
formats, such as wheat and dairy, gluten-free, vegan, gluten free-vegan
and diabetic friendly. My goal is to enable almost everyone to enjoy a
variety of delicious baked goods, from scones and cakes to meat pies and
pasties, no matter their dietary preferences or needs. And, as you explore
the drop-down menus on my page, you may also gain insight into the
British Renaissance and modern Renaissance Faires. Hey, there is a
reason my Pokemon Go name is RenFaire Baker!

My mother gave me my first recipe book when I was 10 years old, Cookie
Cookbook. Cookies! Who doesn’t love cookies? Yet, magically, those
cookies disappeared as soon as I made them, although this may have had
something to do with my three brothers and Dad. Before long, I was
experimenting with the recipes and collecting more cookbooks and recipes
from family and friends. And even though I loved baking, I thought of it as
simply a way to provide treats for family and friends.

Like many teenagers, I went to college after high school. Being very artistic,
I was initially an art major and expected to become an art teacher, but I
found teaching art was not for me. I then went to graduate school to study
psychology with a focus on developmental psychology, but marriage,
moving and starting a family got in the way of finishing my dissertation.
Yes, I am an eternal ABD (all but dissertation). But no matter where I lived,
I could take my love and skill in baking with me.

I would often participate in craft shows, displaying my artistic crafts for sale and my baked goods. By now, many of my baked goods were made from recipes I had developed myself. Then, in early May of 2012, I was
participating in a charity craft show selling baked goods when a group of
performers in pirate costumes came running up to me and excitedly
exclaimed, “We need you for the Virginia Renaissance Faire!” I had never
been to a Renaissance Faire before, so my brilliant response was, “Uh,
OK, when does it start?” Their response: “In two weeks.” And that’s how I
became involved in the Virginia Renaissance Faire.

My first year, it was obvious I knew nothing about the Renaissance or
Renaissance faires, but word quickly got around the faire that yes, I could
bake. After my first year, I began studying books on the British
Renaissance, and was much better prepared by my second year. But now,
people began coming up to me and asking, “Do you have anything gluten
free?” So then I began exploring gluten free recipes and quickly became
aware that if I wanted something that I was willing to eat I was going to
have to develop the recipe myself. By my third year at the faire, several
repeat customers told me that people were talking about me in Norfolk and
Quantico and Culpeper. People also began asking me, “Do you have
anything vegan?”

So I now have developed recipes in a variety of formats. Although I cannot
meet everyone’s dietary needs, due to the tremendous number of allergies
that exist, I try to meet as many as possible. No one wants to hear, “Sorry, I
have nothing for you.” As you go through my recipes, if you find I have
included something that you are allergic to, such as corn, let me know and I
will try to provide you with a substitute whenever possible. Happy baking
and eating!

This blog is dedicated to all my taste testers who have had the “onerous”
job of eating my baked goods and giving me feedback during recipe
development (sorry about those extra 5 pounds) and to the cast, crew,
vendors and visitors to the Virginia Renaissance Faire who have inspired
me to go beyond anything I had ever dreamed.