Monday, November 30, 2009

Breaking News:

We just recieved the news that Michael Cunningham is coming to Homer in June to be the keynote speaker at the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference (June 11-15)! Sign up now for an amazing weekend of writing, readings, and informative and entertaining panel discussions...all in a jewel of a setting at the end of the Homer spit surrounded by wild ocean and snow covered mountains. Come join us!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

and so it begins...cookie madness!

mmmm...peanut butter kisses, just like grandma used to make!

The working list:

Production began in earnest on friday...a bit of an abrupt way to shake off the excess off Thanksgiving, but our customers are asking everyday, when will cookie season begin? Well I'm here to tell starts right now!

Our favorite fruitcakes are back, to reserve yours today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The morning of the day before Thanksgiving...

After wrapping pies until about 10:30 the night before, daughter Jane and I crawled into our beds in the cozy B&B rooms (Jane loves Kate's toom) upstairs, we awoke early to find Sharon rolling in dough...

and Abbey kicking it on breakfast...

nice buns, eh?

And now, after a busy week of baking, packaging and hugging people, we are ready to relax, cook in our own kitchens and celebrate this wonderful life we have. We are so grateful for our awesome employees, customers and purveyors and the many friends we have made along the way...(especially you, Red...Thanks for the champagne!)
Have a delicious holiday everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The night before the day before Thanksgiving...

Pies are wrapped, as are the fruitcakes...Sharon will be in early to start the we go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'tis the season...for pumkin pie!

Pies, Rolls, candy,'s all about production and next week at this time we'll be practising it in earnest as we pump out the Thanksgiving treats. This time of year is all about preserving both our traditions as well as our food. We've all been canning and pickling to be ready for the long winter to come. And as we descend into the dark we are all about carrying on our favored traditions both through the process we use to 'put up' our pantry, but also as to how those items fit into our celebrations. I love sharing those special jems, like my grandmothers bread and butter pickles, or Kates cranberry orange relish, which has to be on my table right next to the turkey. As always we have a fun and interesting mix of people working here at the bakery, some are spending their first holiday in Alaska...others, like me, are celebrating their twentieth! Everyone has a special part of the holiday they hold dear and want to continue and then there are also those we are more than happy to leave behind. The beauty of moving to a new place. Especially one as remote and wild as this (if your living in a cabin with no running water at the end of the road, you are alot less likely to get those pesky relatives visiting on a moments notice) You can leave not just your tradtions, but your whole identity behind- a fresh start. That's one of the things we think this season is truly all about, rebirth...getting through the dark to come out on the other side...refreshed and renewed.
Oh and's REALLY all about pie!
Speaking of pie...we hear there is a shortage of canned pumpkin going on and we wanted to share one of our secrets with you:
As a substitute for canned pumpkin, you can use cooked butternut squash or sweet potato (the orange ones most often referred to as Yams) in place of the pumpkin. I made one at home today, just to show you how:

Orange Vegetable Pie:
makes 2 8" pies
2 cups pureed cooked orange vegetable (good to puree to remove any stringyness)
1 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk or heavy cream
1 t cinnamon
1 t clove
1 t ginger
1/4 t finely ground black pepper (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together, pour into two chilled unbaked pie shells and bake in preheated 350 degree oven
For 40 minutes until center jiggles only slightly when shaken.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Inspration comes from everywhere!

My Son's class is exploring roots in his class right now...I'm pretty sure they weren't exactly thinking the way this gal was...

My friend Dan, told me of this amazing and creative woman he saw at the pop tech conference recently in Camden, Maine...truly, all I wanted to hear about was Michael Pollan, but he insisted Marje is the real deal, and I believe him! And it just so happens she has a studio in Amsterdam...

where they do some pretty amazing things!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


We have our first snowfall of the winter today...Yay! Everyone was excited. The general consensus has been that we had a nice long autumn with moderate temperatures and more than a few sunny days, but now that November is well under way, it was time for snow. My own kids were fantasizing about Halloweens of years past when we could trick or treat AND sled. Not this year...todays snowfall was just enough to get our appetites whet for more. I love how it brightens everything up and covers up the unsightly mud (and junk in the yard-uh-oh!). Homer is lucky to have a very varied, but enthusiastic winter can ski, snowshoe, snowmachine...many hockey and broomball teams all flourish here. Some of my girlfriends have become hockey fanatics and are playing on a womens team (go Diva's! BTW, Who won the Armwrestling competition at the fundraiser last night?) It's nice to take a warm weather vacation, but then after a bit, I find myself wishing I could be cold...I guess it's true, we are all here a northern people, we love our summers, but we really love our winters. (which is a good thing because they last a long time) It's also what makes it such a great place to run a bakery. People stop by before, after and during their long time customer uses the bathroom to change into his drysuit before heading out to kayak the wild winter waves on Nearby Bishops beach (Americano to go, no room) It makes for interesting days and adds inspiration to our own adventures...though I don't think you'll see me sea kayaking in 20 degree weather anytime soon!
Hot Chocolate, anyone?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

it's 3 am...

and all I want to do is stare into the fire and drink my coffee as the gales of November rage on the beach outside.
But there is bread to be made and sticky buns to be attended off I go!
Have a great morning!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The last Gourmet...

Like many people, both in and out of the food industry, I have been reading Gourmet Magazine for a very long time. As a kid it showed up in the stacks of magazines my family had in their office. And as an adult, especially one who loves food, it has been in my regular reading pile for as long as I can remember. I have not always been a subscriber, choosing to rotate my food publications every year or so...but I never threw any of the ones I did get, away. I still have the November 1991 issue, along with a whole stack of others, arranged by month, so I can check into seasons past at a glance. This year, thanks to the Homer Middle School magazine sales fundraiser, I have (had) a current subscription to Gourmet. When I heard that this November issue would be the last, I realized that we must indeed be living in a new world.

To further inspire my fall menus and help me through these next months of darkness I went book shopping. There are two ways I reconcile this, one is that it's part research for my bakery cookbook project and the second is after I carefully peruse them myself, many become holiday gifts for my friends (It's like two gifts in one!) The books by Ruth Reichl (Garlic and Saphires and Comfort me with apples) are destined for my sister-in-laws birthday box, which actually needs to be mailed, stat! (I love both of these books and have just discovered her blog...I'm sad she's out of job, but glad she is still writing! David Lebovitz's 'The sweet life in Paris' I have been loving and I think I will send this to my daughter in the Netherlands, she will be able relate to his funny observations of European life. 'The Kitchen Diaries' by Nigel Slater is laid out in an interesting way. It's literally a daily diary of his food adventures. (people have suggested we go with a seasonal format for our project, but I don't imagine us pulling it off this well) The photos are beautiful and printed on matte paper, one aspect I would like to consider for the bakery book. The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz was irresistable to me because of the fact it is about beginning a bakery on a whim and a prayer, a situation we can entirely relate to! I love the puveyor proflies, something I think would be great in our book as well. (This one's going to Sharon...shhh, don't tell!) 'The Fat Duck Cookbook' by Heston Blumenthal is just one of those books I know I will keep and pick up over and over, just for the shear whimsy and creative energy in his cooking and his words. (not to forget the awesome illustrations) and last, but definitely not least is Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller and his impeccable team including Susie Heller and Michael Ruhlman. I have all of their books, the first being 'The French Laundry Cookbook' and I am excited to have all winter to devour this new release.