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Sunday, May 29, 2011

SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM: A factor worth considering while baking?

5:45am.
It's the first day of the Tri-Cities Baker's Market and I have to bake and glaze six dozen scones. Doors open at 10am so we have an hour to set up which means I have to leave Vancouver by 8:30. No problem. To get everything done I did a bit of prep work the night before so my morning of the event would go smoothly. I mean, I really had my baking schedule timed perfectly...or so I thought. There's various factors that figure in. Obviously, the actual baking time but there's also the pre-heat the oven time, the mixing time, the oops! I screwed up time, the cooling time, the glazing time and the time it takes to set the glaze, etc. One thing I didn't factor in was the space-time continuum.  Where did the morning go? Apparently down a black hole.


Now, the hair dryer isn't normally a part of my kitchen arsenal but when panic mode is at it's peak you enter into creative mode. Glaze not set yet? Simple. Hit it with the hair dryer set on cool and blow crumbs all over the kitchen. Not the most conventional way to do things but it got the job done. Glaze is set and time to pack. We (my husband) packed the car the night before so all we had to load up were the scones and ourselves. It's GO TIME!! Thankfully there wasn't much traffic and no sign of "the authorities" so I put the pedal to the metal and took the ol' Neon to warp factor 5. Got to Coquitlam in 15 minutes from East Van. Normally a 30 minute commute.


The set up was easy (with a lot of help from my hubby/cashier) since I already worked it out at home. I was very happy with my table. Little pat on the head for me! Everything was home-made or bought at the thrift store...well, except for the rather institutional looking cake domes which I got at a restaurant supply store in China Town (they cost the most!).


People were filing in as we were setting out the samples and it didn't let up for about an hour straight. Then slowly the traffic thinned as it got closer to lunch time. That's when I got away from the table to do some sampling myself!

My neighbor (and organizer of the market) Kimberley Mulla from Kimberley's Kitchen brought her hand-made marshmallows displayed tastefully against a very cute lime green gingham which is her overall theme (her key lime marshmallows are delicious!). Along with the many talented artisans was a talented photographer, Edward Yee, who took some slick, magazine worthy pictures of the event. Don't we look professional?

Yours truly and DH Andy, Kimberley's Kitchen's gourmet marshmallows, a cute little cupcake from Something Sweet For You and colorful macaroons from French Made Baking.   Photos by Edward Yee.
Orange Marmalade   photo by Edward Yee
Kimberley Mulla of Kimberley's Kitchen, some wishful thinking terriers, a customer enjoying the free samples and adorable cake pops from Something Sweet for You. Photos by Edward Yee.
All gone.
The Orange-Pecan scones were a big seller and the first to go. Second were the Lemon-Blueberry (coming soon to the pastries page!) and third, Lime-Cardamom. I figured out a good way to sell the unconventional flavor by pairing them with my Pineapple Jam, a natural fit also flavored with cardamom. Bingo! They started to sell as did the jam. It's a learning curve being a "salesperson". You'd think you wouldn't have to convince people to buy scrumptious scones and preserves. But some folks need a little guidance. And I'm glad to offer it because I want everybody to be happy! True you can't please everyone but I can sure try. So I'd say the first day of market was a complete success and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Can't wait 'til next weekend! And, needless to say, I'll give myself a lot more time to bake Saturday morning. I don't want to have to enlist the hair dryer again. ;o)

photo by Edward Yee