Friday, September 30, 2016

Falling Forward

The light floods the kitchen this time of year as the arc of the sun dips below the edges of the porch roof spilling blinding gold on the sandwich board a few hours a day. It's our favorite season here, the summer crowds are gone, the weather is still nice and when the sun is out, you just can't beat these fall days.

We are taking advantage of the slower time and moving ahead with our new test kitchen up and running (transforming a former B&B room to house a cold storage closet, veggie and dish sinks and workstations with a view of the ocean;)
AND closing Sundays!
With football season upon us, the bakery slows waaaayyy down on Sundays. A good time to clean the greasetrap and defrost the freezers, because we do know how to have a GOOD TIME, lol! Who doesn't want to spend their weekends doing that? You can tell we are not football fans!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Homer celebrates the Art of Fermentation with Sandor Katz

     A couple of years back, my sous chef Morgan and I attended the MAD food symposium in Copenhagen. Run by Rene Redzepi and his merry band from the restaurant Noma, it has become the seed of many great collaborations and ideas for some of the best chefs in the world and a way for a small town bakery owner like me to both see what is possible and reaffirm their mission. (I wrote a little piece about it on my friend Michael Ruhlman's blog)

      One of the speakers I was most excited to see was Sandor Katz, (Esteemed author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation).  To my delight at the closing dinner I found myself sitting next to him. It was so interesting hearing about his life in Tennessee and fun to tell him how many fans he has up here in Homer.

      Luckily for us, he remembered our meeting when a chance to visit Alaska this summer came up, he got in touch.

      It was with pure excitement that we were able to host him for two events, one was a workshop that included both hands on and lecture with many questions answered thoughtfully by Mr. Katz, the other was a fundraiser for the Homer Farmers Market (a big thanks to that organizing queen Robbie Mixon for bringing it all together) that included readings by local authors as well as a sweet presentation by Sandor.

      The workshop was held at Twitter Creek Gardens, (made famous in this excellent article by Julia O'Malley).

What a beautiful day!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


A Holiday Poem, in pictures. (with allegory)

Here is the Church:

Here is the Steeple

Open the Doors

                                                  And See All The People!

Happy Holidaze!!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Summer it really over?

Summer 2014 began with a bang! Little Delaney came into our world at the end of May and things haven't quite been the same around here since. Born to Jill, one of the best managers this bakery ever had...Here she is with Maya, oldest bakery baby who turned 21 this summer. That's a lot of buns in baby years.
We slammed through June pumping out some beautiful catering events along with the nonstop daily routine of feeding everyone who makes their way down to our little corner of the beach.

And the flowers were incredible! Our tables were filled with Homer grown flowers all summer long. 

The produce was the best we have ever seen thanks to so many quality producers in the area, cabbages bigger than a basketball. 

We did our best to make it look real good! 

Green tomato jam min'

Green tomatoes from our local growers, the season turns so quickly they didn't have a chance! 
So green tomato jam was on the list this week. A childhood favorite of mine that lives in the musty corners of my brain. I remember eating it and exclaiming, "this can't possibly be Green tomatoes! And I couldn't get enough. I resurrected the process as best I could with a two to one ratio of fruit to sugar by weight. Macerating them overnight in the sugar, I then cooked them with a little lemon peel and juice for about 3 hours until it was reduced and the tomatoes took on a candied quality. So different and delicious, my mind is reeling with the possibilities! 

                              But on fresh bread with lots of butter is still the best of all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A few good things to share...

Miso glazed Octopus with pickled onion and lemon horseradish vinaigrette
Wild Ramps, Thanks You Todd and Beth Boling for the wonderful gift!
New Wine!

Making Spring

We are still getting cabbages from one of our local growers who managed to cold storage them through the winter. An amazing feat, though this has been a mild warm winter as far as those things go this far north. With the long days of sunshine have come chilly nights so things are melting kind of slow and taking a bit longer than we would like to get started. Really, we have a good month before the chance of snow is gone so no green sprouts, no fiddleheads or nettles or baby lettuces for quite a while. Which brings us back this beautiful Homer-grown cabbage. How to make it bright and spring-like both to the eye and the tongue? Pickling is usually a fall sport, I know, but there is no better way to liven a dish than a little pickled something. And today, this cabbage is that perfect something.

Mama mooses are everywhere and they are huuungry!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The days are just packed!

the view from here on a sunny fall day
My bad for having not written in so long. It's not like there hasn't been anything to write about. Seriously, there has been way too much! Since I last sat down to write, we have been on TV (thanks Alie and Georgia!), had a baby (We love you Carla and Dan and baby Elli), Got married, not once (Congratulations to Jill and Luke!) but TWICE (Bri and Ryan, we are so happy for you!). We also had two production companies talk to us about reality shows, both were prefaced with, "we've always wanted to do a show in Alaska!" One was an extreme cakes show with Sharon creating elaborate fondant cakes and Niko delivering them by dog sled (only Sharon doesn't do fondant and Niko doesn't dog sled) and the other was going to be about plus size sisters making big fun in the 49th state, (right, except we are not exactly plus size and we are not exactly sisters, so yeah, but no).

no matter what is going on, there is always something good on the rack!

Sharon and I both went to Paris, though sadly not together, and to top it off, Morgan and I met our heroes while going MAD in Copenhagen (check out the videos of some of the presentations we saw, so amazing! I still hope to write a post all about it). While all that was going on the bakery hummed it's busy, happy tune as we enjoyed one of the busiest retail summers we have ever had. It seems like we had our share of broken refrigerators and other curve balls, but all in all their were fewer tears, and for THAT we are ever grateful. And as we head into the dark of this winter season, we are also thankful for the smiles across the counter that warm us and we know the love from our customers will light our way through these coming days of darkness.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blast from the past: circa1993

Here I am, pulling some of the first batches of white trash rolls out of the oven way back in 1993. As you can see, I have swallowed what looks to be a watermelon. That sweet melon turned 20 along with the bakery this year! My how time flies....

Wednesday, May 8, 2013's a wrap!

Our friends Rachael and Ben at Alaska Stems are bringing in the first blooms from their tulips, the cranes have arrived. So have the birders...the surest sign of spring is not just the snowy white swans frolicking on the shores of the almost thawed Beluga Lake, it is the out of town visitors sporting big cameras!

It's also the time to use the last of the salmon from the freezer. Our cured salmon 3 ways is the perfect showcase of the different ways you can use fish you might not want to eat otherwise.
Gravlax with caraway sour cream and fresh dill, Smoked with nori and honey cayenne caviar and Pickled with ginger, cucumber and wasabi. This was the appetizer we served for this year's Ski Dinner, a benefit we do for the high school ski team. 
We also have new paintings up by Barbara Wyatt. She has a new gallery online at her work is so beautiful and inspiring!

It makes the dining room really feel like spring is here!

Another bright spot in this crazy season was a visit from the lovely Alie and Georgia from The Cooking Channel and their awesome film crew. With our regular bakery days in full swing it made for some intense moments with so many people in the kitchen, but they made it so fun! 

The show will be airing in July...we'll keep you posted!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What comes around, goes around...Why we love our egg farmers, part 2

One of our egg farmers sent me this sweet clip of her girls. we have been enjoying the fruits of their labor...and as you can see they have also been enjoying ours. Thanks, Deb!

Friday, February 1, 2013

F is for February

Pear Gorgonzola and Walnut Borekas cooling in the window on an unusually sunny afternoon
The first month of 2013 was a bit sloppy and slippery, at least if you were trying to get around outside. We kept things warm and cozy inside, though! We enjoyed our busiest January ever even with all the bad weather and sketchy road conditions. Thanks to everyone who has helped us keep it all together and to the rest of you who keep coming back for more!

Hilary has her Challah braid DOWN!
Just a reminder...(this means YOU, Marvin) the challah isn't usually ready until noon or one. We aren't making very much, so it's good to reserve early. (Tom K. perhaps a standing order to make sure you get yours?)  
time to make more soup?
The soups have been flying off the stove on these chilly to the bone days. Latest favorite is a Coconut Chicken with Lime. Warms you from the inside out! 
fresh ricotta cheese! 
We are making our own ricotta for the dinner menu...we put it on the squash salad and use it in eggplant lasagne. I just love it like this, warm from the towel and spread on fresh sourdough bread. So incredibly good!

Kim Chee...the beginning!
Sous Chef Morgan got the book 'The Art of Fermentation' for Christmas and her first batch of Kim Chee will be ready soon...Look for it on the dinner specials menu this month! 

We are putting together a special menu for Valentine's Day! 
Call to make your reservations 235-2280

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Welcome 2013!

"It's important to begin a search on a full stomach."

Henry Bromel
Northern Exposure, The Big Kiss, 1991

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies...Cater!
It was a crazy holiday season here at the bakery! Lots of cookies, cakes and breads flying out the door amidst the snow and the rain and the WIND! Christmas eve eve alone brought 2 feet of snow, which unfortunately was washed away by New Years eve. We did our best to be here through all of that, but mailmen we are not and we ended up closing dinner a couple of nights due to bad roads and part of the crew being stuck in their driveways. Those folks that were able to get to work did a fine job loading the cases. What a warm wonderful sight to be greeted with on a dark and cold snowy day! 

Everyone is dug out, Dinners are back on our regular schedule. 
(Wed thru Sat 6-9pm)

Now that the holidays are over, it's all about the FRESH! (or as fresh as we can find it in the middle of winter in Alaska!)
Spring rolls, our most popular catering item, have jumped onto the dinner specials list just in time to lighten things up...perhaps a nice noodle bowl or a squash salad to go with. A good way to keep your resolutions and not feel like your missing out. 
Speaking of missing out, it's true the season for these is over, but I just had to share!

Sharon's Yule Logs were just beautiful!

Welcoming adventure is what life is all about up here, and one of our crew is enabling just that. Evening server Stevie is assisting her boyfriend Lonnie Dupre as he makes his 3rd attempt at soloing Denali. He is hoping to fly to the mountain today, weather shamans permitting. You can help by supporting their kickstarter campaign to help bring awareness of the effects of climate change on the arctic. Cold Love indeed...Good Luck, Lonnie!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Holiday Train has left the station!

view from the baking table- Thanks Hilary!

These candy colored sunrises are the best part of winter mornings...besides being in a warm, happy bakery! 
The holidays are bearing down on us like a loud freight train, but, never fear, we are ready to climb aboard! We'll be packing lots of holiday cookies in our bags and eating hearty and delicious soup and sandwiches along the way...I think we'll also bring along a couple of these:

The first Yule Log rolled of the line last week where it was sliced and scarfed during the evening dinner service. Want one of your very own? Give us a call! (907)235-2280.
We are open throughout the holiday season, closing only Christmas Day. Dinners will be Thursday through Saturday that week, too. Come down and celebrate with us!
Another exciting note: 
Brianna Bryngelson's paintings are up and brightening our must come and see them for yourself...they are the perfect tonic for the winter blues!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The art of gratitude

Counting your blessings is a talent. It's not something that comes naturally to us as humans. We are hardwired to anticipate the next danger, our ears pricked, hairs raised, waiting to slay the dragon. We let down our guard and that's when the bad things happen. It is an important part of our nature, this vigilance, but it must not be all consuming. It is equally important to be able to pull back and live the present, not the one as monitored by social media or the news, but the moment as we experience it in real time, in real life. I have a trick I've recently learned for when I get overwhelmed by all the noise from outside and my own inability to affect a positive change over things beyond my control: I stop and try to think how life would be without all the gadgets that make my knowledge of these affairs possible. And how without them I would be attending to the matters at hand. At my hand. Worrying about those people I can help, feeding people I can see. This Thanksgiving for me will be spent being grateful for the love and support of my family, the unwavering loyalty from my friends and the bounty that which the earth has bestowed upon us. Tomorrow, I will get back to slaying dragons, er, sandwiches.