Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Thankful!

1 beautiful sunrise. check.
40 pies, check.
50 dozen rolls. check.
1 bottle champagne. check (Thanks, Red!)
1 crew of awesome people to work with. CHECK.
100's of happy customers. check and check.
I think we're done here.
Happy Thanksgiving to Thankful for All of You!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tartine Bread and other delights.

One of our favorite baking books of 2010 is Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. Chad, along with his wife Elisabeth Prueitt owns Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. They have been a huge inspiration to us, and this bread book is just the icing on the cake. Sharon met Chad and Elisabeth back in 1998 at the same bread conference she met Alan Scott. It was a turning point for our bakery, to find these people living the life we were, with the same passion and insane work ethic. When we finally built our own oven with Alan in 2004 it was an amazingly humbling experience. We thought we had worked hard before, now there was wood to wrangle, a fire to build and an oven to clean, besides mixing, and forming and baking the bread. It has been worth it though, and reading Chads great stories and following his detailed and excellent recipes brings us right back to why we do this in the first place...because we are crazy! Oh, and there's nothing like making people happy with our food. 
Speaking of making people happy...Ben made fudge

It's just one of the many treats coming out of our kitchen for the holidays. The season kicks off in earnest next week as we get our pie on for thursday, then starting friday we introduce our 2010 Holiday Cookie List. We have already made thumbjams and cranberry orange cookies as well as lavender and green tea shortbread. The rest of the list is still working itself out, stay tuned! Until then we will be prepping pies and rolling rolls in anticipation of a busy day before Thanksgiving. It is exciting to have such an amazing staff to help us pull it all together. We remember many a tuesday and wednesday before making it happen ourselves, working long, long days only to collapse on Thanksgiving day after the requisite plate of turkey. 
Which reminds me:
 Don't forget to put in your Thanksgiving orders in by 6 pm on Tuesday! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Blog Design

Shaking things up....Let us know if things aren't loading right for you, or if you have a hard time reading the content. I hope you like the new look!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

View from the baking table: 11/08/10

An early winter snowstorm struck last weekend, forcing us to close the bakery on Sunday. Though we didn't get so much in town, the upper elevations got dumped on! My house, at 500 feet got over 18" and Sharon, who is more like 1000 feet up, was digging out of 30"! What did I say about getting all the stuff picked up out of the yard? Too Late!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bacon Truffles

The days are much shorter now, the darkness enfolding our days as the chill moves in and we surrender uneasily into the throes of winter. Snow is starting to stick and people are rushing to finish winter preparations like getting the snow tires on the car and splitting a good supply of wood, oh, and don't forget picking up all that stuff in the yard that will be lost until spring once the snow really falls. The cool weather and impending holiday season make me think of sweet's time to make candy! Ever since trying bacon truffles out for the first time almost 2 years ago I have made them periodically and they are always an interesting conversation starter, and yes, actually quite popular as well. This year I tweeked it a bit, deglazing the fried bacon with brandy and then making a brittle with some of the bacon for the topping. The brittle sprinkled on top before the chocolate hardens gives them a crunch that really enhances the bacon experience. It is so fun watching people's faces when they encounter something so unusual here in this funky little bakery on the beach at the end of the road. Of course, we weren't the first to think of pairing chocolate and cured pork products. While the blog I heart bacon has references to chocolate covered bacon as far back as 2005, Homer Simpson is credited with being one of the first to herald the virtue of this unusual food pairing. The Minnesota state fair started selling chocolate bacon under the fetching name of 'pig lickers', and before you know it, specialty chocolate shops on both coasts were pedaling their own versions. Then luxury chocolate maker Vosges introduced a bacon chocolate bar, the now famous 'Mo's Bacon bar' and Zingerman's, the big deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan began serving a bacon and chocolate gravy over biscuits, a dish with roots firmly planted in Appalachia (apparently when cocoa powder became readily available in the late 1800's they added it to their milk gravy as a way of jazzing up this simple low country favorite). These days you can even order chocolate covered bacon from almost any foodie catalogue or try a bacon infused chocolate from one of those fancy shops in the mall. With or without bacon, chocolate is enjoying a very real and sustained surge as a versatile, nay even 'healthful' food. I, for one, am and always have been a big fan.