Friday, May 27, 2011

A-market we will go

Sundried Tomato-Black Olive Bread; Herbed Loaves

So -- at this writing, late Friday afternoon, I have two more loaves of herbed bread making their second proof, and they're almost ready for the oven.  Yay!  The kitchen smells so mmmmmmmm when I bake this bread, seasoned up with garlic, oregano and basil.  It's become my go-to bread recipe for extended-family dinners because everyone loves it and it's kind of a departure from the more traditional dinner rolls.  (Sometimes I have to make an extra loaf for my nephew Matt to take home.)  The herbed bread has a nice crunchy-but-not-too-hard crust, and I think it's best when served warm.  It reheats well wrapped in foil; it also freezes well.  But my very favorite way to eat this bread is lightly toasted, then slathered in butter and jam -- there's something about the savory with the sweet. . . .  No -- wait -- maybe my favorite way is as the bread in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Okay, now let me tell you about the sundried tomato-black olive bread.  Let's call it the STBO bread.  This stuff is loaded -- and I mean loaded -- with sundried tomatoes and black olives.  And some basil.  Its flavors border on the intense.  It's dense, and moist, and some might call it decadent.  It's one of those "guilty pleasure" breads.  Serve it with cheese or alongside soup (I know it's nearly summer, but this bread is a reason to crank up the A/C to eat a hearty bowl) -- the STBO bread is a novel alternative to jalapeno cornbread.  Ooh, or have it with a glass of wine!  This bread is wonderful whether at room temp or warm and can be frozen if you must hide it from filchers (or yourself).

And for breakfast, or snacks, there are the scones.  I have often found scones to be sort of dry and sometimes too big and maybe not all that tasty.  But the ones I make are the opposite on all three counts.  I've got cranberry orange and cinnamon raisin for the farmers market this Saturday.  Here are the mini cinnamon raisin ones, which I'm batching up by the half-dozen.  There's a larger size, too.

I've also made fresh granola bars in bundles of three, and they're packed with cranberries, apples, almonds and sunflower seeds, with a hint of cinnamon.  A good friend of mine says he doesn't like crunchy food, but this morning he dropped by and I forced one of these on him.  He would have professed to conversion but he was too busy eating.

Anyway, these are just a few of the items I'll be purveying tomorrow at the Downtown Kennett Farmers Market.  Take a look at my earlier blog posts to see other things I'm offering.  If you're around, come by!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Well, I feel foolish.  After all that hand-wringing over the weather, and finding rain outside before daylight and drizzle around daylight, I chose not to undertake packing the car (not a small task) and motoring to FM this morning if only to unpack and set up (another not-small task) and then get drenched or scramble not to get drenched.  And now it's a lovely day.  A bit windy, but even yet. . . .

Fortunately I had homes for much of the baking, so it won't go to waste.  Just to waist.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Brad likes them -- so do Monkey, Satch and Smiley

Okay, these are some sirius treats.  (Get it?  Dog?  Star?)

Two dozen to a 32-oz jar, these stellar (can't help myself) dog biscuits are made of all good things, like whole wheat flour, oatmeal, beef broth, brewers yeast.  I'm pricing this at $7.50 -- because if you bring the empty jar back for a $6.50 refill, we'll etch your pupster's name on it.  Fair enough?

I'm working on kitty treats, but you know how cats are -- they want the moon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ANOTHER rainy Saturday???

I'm rather anxiously following  Word is, it's going to rain on Saturday.  I got rained out the last time I did the farmers market (and I think I might be referring to that from time to time and probably fairly frequently as "FM").  It's troubling when a good deal of my merchandise is baked goods, and therefore perishable.  A fair amount of it -- like the snackbreads -- stays pretty fresh for several days if I keep it in the fridge, but my fridge only holds so much. . . .

Right now I'm working up a batch of mint jelly.  I have a healthy 4-year-old patch of spearmint so it seemed only natural I make jelly from it, since all I've ever done with it previously is put it in iced tea. 

The kitchen smelled great while I was pulling all these leaves from their stems.

Then I chopped up several pounds of Granny Smiths (did you know apples are the base of mint jelly?), tossed 'em in with the mint and brewed up this mush:

and began to strain out the juices.  Slowly.  Very very slowly.  I've got a bit over 3 cups' worth of juice right now and it's been dripping for 2-3 hours.  I'm supposed to reap about 5 cups of juice for the jelly.


I don't have a lot of patience.  As they say, stay tuned.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A first time for everything

Hi, and welcome to Akiddledidivy – a blog documenting experiments of a farmer’s daughter.

I have to go ahead and say this at the very beginning: I think blogs are incredibly self-indulgent – I mean, seriously, WHO CARES??? So I’m somewhat uncomfortable even doing this, but I’ve signed up for the Kennett Downtown Farmers Market this summer and I want to use a blog to promote the market, post photos and descriptions of the various items I’m peddling, and get feedback from my customers.

Aprons, Tea Towel, Knitted Dishcloths

I’m not really a curmudgeon. Most people seem to like me. But my intent is not to write chatty posts, or get very personal, or use this as a soapbox.

I suppose I should, however, provide a bit of personal background: I grew up in Southeast Missouri, the daughter of a cotton grower and a first-grade teacher. I went to SMU and lived in Dallas for many years, then returned to the Bootheel a few years ago when my mom’s vision started to fail to macular degeneration, and now I’m back on the farm.

I knit. Obsessively. And now I’ve started spinning my own yarn. I have several fiber friends and have more recently gotten very interested in producing my own wools, and to that end, am in the very nascent stages of starting a fiber farm of sheep, goats and Angora rabbits. Tangentially, it seemed to me that participating in a farmers market would be good experience.

I’m a pretty good gardener but think, because of the crazy weather we’ve had here this spring and because I hadn’t planned to garden on a market-production level, I might not have much fresh produce beyond herbs, perhaps, to sell. Therefore, rather than trying to come from behind in that regard, I’m going to focus more on making and selling baked goods and similar items at the market.

Mix in the Pan Applesauce Cake Kit, Spicy Black Cherry Tea Mix,
Russian Tea Mix, Tea Towels, and Snackbreads

I love to cook. I’m fascinated by the chemistry of it. I pore over cookbooks and subscribe to several cooking magazines and download recipes and sit glued to the various food channels. WARNING: Soapbox digression: I think Martha Stewart is a goddess and I once went to a costume party as Julia Child. I make big celebratory family meals and send everyone home with leftovers. When I’m not knitting, or spinning, I’m baking. As I way too frequently bake more than Mother and I can eat, I’m constantly giving it away. So I figured, why not try to sell some of it?

I wasn't (and still am not) exactly sure how to approach having a spot at the farmers market - what to offer, what might sell. As it happened, its opening day was the day before Mother's Day, so in addition to snackbreads and herbed loaves (which sold out, so I don't have any photos of them), I made several different things that could serve as gifts for moms.

Mix in the Pan Applesauce Cake,
Lemon Apricot Snackbread, and Tea Towel

Scrub & Soak Sets --
Lemon Sugar-Salt Scrub and Peppermint-Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak

Tea Towels, Tea Mixes, Lemon Apricot Snackbread and
Mix in the Pan Chocolate Chip Walnut Cake
My sister has some kind of fancy sewing machine and does a lot of machine embroidery, applique and quilting. She’s very clever (and very cool) and has tons of creative ideas. So along with the things I’m turning out in the kitchen, I’ll regularly be bringing to market a variety of her unique linens such as embroidered dishtowels, spiffy aprons, and quilted bowl and pitcher covers for the patio.

Anyway, the photos here are representative but not comprehensive of our first week's offerings. As the summer progresses we'll be bringing out new breads and cookies, jams and jellies, spice mixes, things for the kitchen, the garden and the bath, and who knows what?  We'll have a tasting table and recipes or food-pairing suggestions to accompany our goods, and we'll happily consider special requests or orders. I'll keep the blog updated so you'll know what's available from week to week.

Eiffel Tower Tea Towels and Patio Pitcher Cover
Aprons, Knitted Dishcloths, Tea Towels and Patio Bowl Cover