Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Downtown Donut 9-13-11

Last Tuesday, we rolled out mid-week Donut production.  At 8:15AM, we had old fashioned, chocolate glazed, and sugar glazed donuts on hand at the corner of Main and Chapel Hill St. across from Toast.

Donuts are probably our most popular and most highly sought-after item.  We use real butter, organic eggs, and buttermilk to give the donuts a cakelike richness.  We are still perfecting the recipe and production method.  I recently purchased a 40-quart brazier pot that will allow us to fry up to 15 at one time.  Previously, we had been using an ordinary stockpot which held a maximum of five or six.

Tuesday, sales were middling, especially during 8:15-9:00AM.  We made about 200, and sold 80.  The rest I gave to 9th Street Bakery to sell, some to Danny from Smash Hit Hot Dogs, some to Patrick from Reliable Cheese to sample, and the rest I brought to work at Duke as "Celebration Donuts" to celebrate the birth of my son four days earlier.

Because I work full time at Duke, this mid-week donut venture was meant to be my crew member SZ's thing.  To make it worthwhile for him and me, we need to sell about 200 donuts, which I don't think should be too hard once we make a few changes:

1) We will try to get our location posted to Downtown Durham Inc.'s FB and listserv.
2) We will try to publicize via the ABCD Downtown listserv.
3) If our location turns out not to have enough foot traffic, we may try in front of the post office or near the courthouse on Main.

I believe we will try again a week from tomorrow, and will update the Facebook the day prior.  If you have any suggestions to assist in the rollout, please holler.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Upgrading Food Storage

If you are looking for good home countertop food storage, I would recommend this series from OXO.  The "POP" technology plus high-grade BPA-free plastic creates an airtight seal that is easy (even fun?) to open and close.  It is a real step up from my last container set from Ikea.  They're more expensive than your average jar, but I think it's worth the money: after a recent mouse incident, the saltshaker was upended, the compost Tupperware had holes in the lid, but my OXO filled with brown sugar was completely unscathed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 29

The product:  Our whole wheat bread came out fantastic.  It was terrifically tangy thanks to Alex's 3-day starter that was fed every 12 (?) hours or so.  The Irish soda breads were also a hit -- whole wheat quickbreads that have richness (from eggs, butter, buttermilk, and sugar in good proportion) is like a curveball classic.  Even kids whose mothers said, "He/She doesn't eat whole wheat breads," liked them.  Everything was sold or bartered, including 2 whole wheat loaves that I was going to take home but were purchased out of the back of SZ nearly-packed trunk.

Shouts to our customers and friends: Joanna and Michelle, Moria, Jill, Rachel, A&A, Renata, Franklin and fam, Bonnie, Lauren & Josh, Nate & Elizabeth (thanks guys for those bartered peppers!), Lindsay & Adam (thanks guys for the bartered tunes and movie (Babylon (1981)!), Marybeth, Zach & Molly, and Alex K.

Shouts to the crew: RML, SZ, AR, thanks fellas -- now that the weather is turning more temparate, I'm really looking forward to the rest of September.

Photos:  LDG took some great photos of the day.  Check them out on facebook.

The Biggest Loser: We never found our recipient of the weekly giveaway, Jojo.  Next time, mane.

Yesterday in the Lab: Sundays are usually a good "test" day for me, experimenting with new ideas.  Yesterday, I made red hot peppers pickled in vinegar and salt for kimchi; roasted sweet peppers (from the Marvelle family) pickling in salt and white wine vinegar; banana bread.

In the near future: We are looking to roll out more mid-week donut production.  Stay tuned.


Banana Bread Donut
Banana Bread with Toasted Pecans and Dark Chocolate