Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Jewish Deli in Raleigh

Flour Bakery, Boston, MA

via MJB

Week 36

The product/sales : We had a quick sellout on Saturday -- wrapped at 11:30AM.

The shoofly pie donut was a hit.  If I did it again, I would use a little more melted butter, a little more brown sugar and molasses, and I would add more spice: cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.  And I would rename the donut to a "Brown Sugar Donut" or "Molasses Donut" or "Spice Donut".  I like Shoofly Pie, but the donut really needs a molasses custard filling to qualify as a "pie" donut.

Our weekly giveaway winner: Anne G., pictured here with her merch and AR and SZ:

Big up to the crew:  I always thank our crew (AR, RML, and SZ) profusely, but this week they really came up big.  RML, in the kitchen for the first time, was quickly cutting donuts like a pro.  We were frying, glazing, bagging, and loading product at pace till just minutes before the open of the market.  Because there are any number of possible complications to the morning baking production, this phrase aptly characterizes the process (t-shirt by Parra):

Bartering: Piedmont Biofarm (Radishes, Lettuce, Green peppers), Rob and Mo from Monuts, Jeep's Kettle Corn.

Our Awesome Patrons:  Nat and Madeline (pictured), Sarah and Jessee, Miriam, Suzanne, Anne G., Horst, Karen et al., Marybeth.

Madeline with Shoofly Pie Donut


Note: Saturday was our last market day with Spring/Summer/Fall hours.   We will be switching to Winter hours (10AM-noon) on December 3rd.  The Farmer's Market, including Berenbaum's, will be closed next weekend.  We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving filled with food, pie, and drink.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looks like Google is going to try to overtake Paypal, and take a bite out of VISA as well

 1. Use "Google Wallet" (terrible name) instead of Paypal or credit card online.  I think more people would be up for using this as Paypal is a terribly slow, clunky, confusing UI experience.

2. Wave your smartphone loaded with Google Wallet cash over a terminal to pay for goods and services.  Looks cool.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 35

The scene: Beautiful Fall weather (low 60's and sunny) made for a laid-back, pleasant day at the market.  After 9AM, the sun was at our backs and warmed us through.  Lonny over at Vega Metals provided the soundtrack (with a heavy rotation of cuts off The Blues Brother Soundtrack).

The product: Brioche Challah: killer.  Many compliments and was sold out by 10:40AM.  Dark Rye Bread: This bread came out more like a sourdough rye (we used a 3-day starter build).  I looked on the side of a Pepperidge Farm package of pumpernickel and found that they use "caramel coloring" for darkening.  We used homemade brown sugar syrup, but it did not really darken the bread as much as I would have liked.  More experimentation and tweaking is needed.

Customer comments/feedback: We met one customer who claimed that she was given a sourdough starter that traces its roots back to the Gold Rush and has traveled around the country.  Two Guglhupf employees came by the stand and called the rye bread, "very good" (I was humbled).  One customer on a bicycle in racing unitard purchased a loaf and proceeded to carbo-load half of it at a nearby bench.  Repeat customers for coffee remarked how consistently good the caffeine is every week (we are now serving Costa Rican Kind Coffee roasted in Carrboro).  One belated endorsement for our donuts was relayed to me last week: A supposed tai chi instructor attending the Occupy Durham Assembly said, "I want to punch whoever made these donuts in the face!" which I suppose is the greatest compliment one could receive from a tai chi instructor?!

Fam in the place: The Berenbaums were visiting and so we went five-strong this weekend at the stand.  They were super-helpful and even worked on this blog post!

Our awesome customers: Ian and family, Zane and the Market Run crew, Imani, Annie, the Marvelles, Franklin et al., Mark, the Schneider clan, Allie and Jeff, and Elana.

One of most loyal customers and friends, Annie, featured with rye bread, butternut squash, and baby bump.

Bartering: Daikon Radish and Sweet Potatoes from George and Dominique at Lil' Farm; Kettle Corn from Jeep; Monuts from Rob.

Crew: Thanks so much to our crew, AR, RML, and the immediate Berenbaum family.  AR worked on the rye starter build and learned Saturday morning how to make 2-strand challah braids; then, we talked French philosophy at 6AM while waiting for everything to come out of the oven -- fans of Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou stand up!

A good look: Food and drink connoisseur and owner of BUNS of Chapel Hill, George Ash, is featuring a Berenbaums' Brioche bun for a limited time tomorrow.  This is, in his own words: Skirt steak, sirloin, chuck. Gruyere, grilled mush, caramelized onion.

This week: Be prepared for a new donut coming next Saturday.  I'm not telling what it is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

25 Essential Food Tips

The Char of the Burger
- Use high heat so the interior of your burger cooks in its own rendered fat.

The Crumb of the Bread
- Generous hydration and a long rising time will result in a tender, open crumb.

The Spice of the Curry
- Add your spices directly to the hot oil at the beginning of your curry, not at the end.

The Savor of the Barbeque
- Low and slow with frequent basting will tenderize the meat.

The Consistency of the Custard
- Once the mixture starts to thicken, turn your heat down and whisk vigorously.

The Yellow of the Yolk
- Don't overboil your eggs and you'll get a properly yellow yolk.

The Chew of the Pasta
- Al dente, people.

The Salt of the Soup
- Homemade soups are notoriously undersalted.

The Fluffiness of the Biscuit
- Proper hydration and soft handling will let you steer clear of a dense hockey puck biscuit.

The Silkiness of the Challah
- Vegetable shortening is a highly refined and processed fat, but it will make your challah texture silky.

The Thickness of the Beans
- Boil down your beans to achieve a gelatinous texture that coats the back of a spoon.

The Bitterness of the Coffee
- If your grind size in the filter (or similarly in a French press) is too small, the water drips too slow and the coffee is exceedingly bitter.

The Lightness of the Cupcake
- Once you add the dry ingredients, mix lightly, not excessively, to achieve a tender crumb.

The Airiness of the Icing
- Room temperature butter, when creamed with sugar, allows air particles to suspend within the fat, giving the icing a light, not heavy and greasy, consistency.

The Saturation of the Fresh Toast
- Toast your pain perdu ("lost bread", or simply day-old bread) prior to frying so it will absorb more egg-milk mixture.

The Creaminess of the Scrambled Egg
- Low heat and frequent stirring.

The Juicyness of the Roasted Chicken
- Mark Bittman has this one right: high heat (425°) gets the interior juicy and the exterior crispy.

The Freshness of the Coffee Beans
- Limit the access of staling air to your beans by freezing in between grinds.

The Boredom of the Salad
- Fight against boredom in your salads by making fresh vinegarette or aioli dressings every mealtime.

The Richness of the Soup
- Carmelizing vegetables will improve the depth of flavor in your stock.

The Lightness of the Pancake
- Mix in this order: Fat, Sugar, Egg, Milk and Dry Ingredients simultaneouly.

The Flavor of the Cookie
- Bring out the intensity of your cookie's flavor by decreasing the amount of leavening agent (baking power and/or baking soda) and relying on your creaming skills combined with eggs for airiness.

The Size of the Matzoh Ball
- Get big matzo balls by soft-handling the dough.

The Depth of the Red Sauce
- Make your own flavor-rich tomato paste by slowly boiling down peeled whole tomatoes.

The Green of the Green
- Don't overwilt your greens; when you've gone from bright to dark forest green, you've gone too far.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 34

The product: This week we did two recipes that have been on the menu from the start of the stand: Irish Soda Bread and Choc Chip Mandel Bread.  One of our customers, Horst, asks literally every week, "Do you have the biscot?" meaning, do you have the mandel bread?  This week, we were able to hook him up:


Our awesome customers:  Imani, A&A, Morgan et al., Linda and Walter, John T., Zane, Kelli and Billy, Alex K., Horst, LDG and JD, and the Dave family.

Bartering: Peppers, Bok Choy, and Radishes from Piedmont Biofarm; "Mr. Heater" from Bob at Bull Durham Custom Trailers; Breakfast Slice and Sausage Gravy over Mixed Garlic Knots from Piepushers; Potatoes from Lil' Farm.

The crew: Thanks so much to SZ, AR, and RML.  AR helped me in the kitchen in the morning, turning out the 80 soda breads and 30 pounds of mandel bread.

Erratum: Our giveaway winner Jon H. could not find us and went home from the market empty-handed.  Let's all hope he returns next week!  We are at the corner of Hunt and Foster every Saturday.

This week: Working on a new rye recipe and some brioche...that's what's up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crescent Ridge

When I was young living in suburban Boston, our family had our milk delivered to us from Crescent Ridge Dairy.  Later they expanded into ice creams and other sundries, and I remember the wonderment of finding ice cream sitting inside an insulated box on our doorstep.  Perhaps part of the fun of the bike deliveries for Berenbaum's is repeating this childhood memory of finding something wholesome and delicious delivered to your front door.