It's Memorial Day weekend! Homer is hopping with activities as the Seafest gets underway incorporating the Wooden Boat Festival, the Kayak Festival and everything else nautical...the Blessing of the Fleet is tomorrow, too! Homer is hosting the visiting exhibit of Eyes Wide Open...they set up pairs of boots and read the names of Americans and Iraqis killed the Iraq war. My daughter Maya (ever the activist) is reading for an hour with a couple of her friends...it's being held near the Bakery at Bishops Beach, so hopefully I will be able to slip away from the baking table long enough to check it out. We are catering a party today on top of all the BUSY-NESS! Staying open until 8 has met with an ever growing audience of folks who are glad to be able to get their bakery fix without thinking so much about the time. It's light so late now that it's hard to know when to go home.
Everyone is here! Laura, the intern from New England Culinary Institue has her tent set up in the bakery yard, Irene is back from Portland to rock our world. Red has just wrapped up her first year of Raspberry Lane Preschool and is jumping back in the bakery saddle for the summer. Johnny is returned from 6 months in New Zealand (working in a coffee house,now he thinks he's a coffee god,has he got a lot to learn!) . We welcome Brianna to the fold, fresh in from Minnesota...When she stepped into the fray a couple of weeks ago I asked her, "How do you feel about 'baptism by fire'?! Her reply? "I prefer it that way!" I knew she was the girl for us! The die-hard winter folks are, like me, happy to have some fresh horses! Many thanks to Ben, Abbey & Keri for sticking with us! Oh and I forgot about Mr. Randall Pine who opted to work for us instead of going back to the Princess Lodge for the summer...he is a workhorse of mythical proportions who works way past his required hours and adds a welcome slice of dry humor to the mix!
Congratulations to all our Seniors who graduated high school...Haven, Emily, Jenny, Tygan, Gillian and Sophie!
Bakery Band is coming together with Irene, Ben and Haven...we are having fun thinking of names for them!
(my current fave is the 'oily balls'...dough balls, that is!)
Bakery Band Update: Name:The Dirty Rags...genre: Melodic Punk...Name of first CD: Oily Balls...SWEET!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The constant firing of the oven gives us many ways to test the possibilities of cooking with fire...these are pans of cabbage and sweet potato being roasted for the focaccia sandwiches that will be made up for lunch today. Sharon jokes that she remembered a show on PBS in New York when she was a kid called 'Billy Bob cooks with fire'...I loved that so much! It speaks to what we are doing every day these days. Fire is such an integral part of cooking, yet few of us have to manage it on such a basic level as to build the oven, harvest the wood, make the fire, then cook the food! It reminds me of a winter I spent living in the woods in Idaho as a very young Carri. The little cabin I rented had only a wood cook stove. Boy did I learn a lot! It must have stuck, cause here I am...CHOOSING to do it this way...just don't call me Billy Bob.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Ben is holding our first ever pizza to order! We just kicked off what we hope will be a fun and popular excursion into the evening dining scene here in Homer. I know that there are already a few...okay, several pizza places in town, a couple of them even bake in wood fired ovens...it's just that we have this brick oven, you see, and since we are already there baking bread in the evenings, it seems like the thing to do! We are open now until 8 pm EVERY DAY, serving not just pizzas, but our delicious soups and sandwiches and DESSERTS! The transition to night baking has been a little rough on the bread end as we figure out mixing, proofing and baking times and temps...I have to admit my breads have been a victim of that learning curve, I'll spare you the picture of white trash loaves burnt to crisp on the outside and not quite done on the inside. With the price of flour so high, I'd better get it together quick, or else the boss will 'fire' me!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD COOKIES!
Every year at holiday time we make cookies...LOTS of cookies, a few dozen kinds, every year the list changes, we rotate out the least popular or difficult. By the end of the holiday season...we are so done with those cookies! This is one cookie, though that we (and everyone else) loved so much that we decided to let it grow up and become a real, year round part of our bakery case. I've had a special request for the recipe in time for mothers day...so here it is!
Now get baking Daddy-o!
This is a larger than normal batch...you'll be glad.
1# unsalted butter...soft
1/4 cup fresh ginger, grated
2 cup brown sugar
2 cup light molasses
6 1/4 cup flour
5 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 tsp baking soda
2 Tblsp boiling water
28 ounces chocolate chips (sometimes we add 1/2 white chocolate chips)
preheat oven to 325 dgrees.
cream butter, fresh ginger, brown sugar and molasses.
Sift flour and spices and salt, Mix 1/2 into butter mixture
dissolve baking soda in water and add to above, then stir in rest of flour mixture
and chocolate chips. Chill dough....roll into balls and dredge in granulated sugar
bake on parchment lined cookie sheet for 12- 15 minutes...um, depending on the size of your balls.
if you make a larger sized cookie like we do, flatten slightly before baking.