Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 103

This weekend, we had a new product in the mix (and possibly my favorite thing that we have done since the Pear Tart Tatin) -- Eccles Cakes.

Eccles cakes date back to the 18th Century in Eccles, Britain.  They are a puff pastry filled with brandy-soaked raisins, brown sugar, butter, and spices.

Eccles doesn't really belie the deliciousness of the cakes, so we were thinking of a "Raisin Tatin Pastry" (which is not quite it either), but feel free to suggest a modern name.

The historical recipe?  "The meat of a boiled calf's foot (gelatine), plus apples, oranges, nutmeg, egg yolk, currants and French brandy."  From:

A good sample recipe for you to try at home:
Lauren with the Eccles pastry

Mad shouts to the crew: Chef Matt, Lauren M., Val, Andy, SZ, Jay&Jaime, and Claire.  Extra special thanks to Lauren for helping out with the product development and production of the Eccles Cakes.

Track of the Week:

This Week: Day One is rolling along - we had our highest customer count yet this past weekend.  This Saturday night we are doing a Vegan Indian Cuisine.  We hope you can make it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day One: Southern Soul

On Saturday, we rolled out our first of two weekends celebrating Southern Soul food gone vegan.  Mac and Cheese, Chicken-fried Tofu, Sauteed Kale, we hit on all the iconic foods that have been revived since the 80's under the Nouveau Southern banner (cf. Bill Neal, Watts Grocery).

Highlight of the Meal:  Hands down - the chicken-fried tofu.  It was so good it made me think Chef Matt should be freezing those cutlets and packaging and selling to the Whole Foods freezer section.  Here is his description of how it's prepared:

I always assumed "chicken-fried" was just a fancy term for breadcrumb-laden slabs of meat but it turns out it's actually beef boiled over in chicken stock, then breaded and fried. Using that method, I took cutlets of dehydrated extra-firm tofu and reconstituted it in boiling bouillon before breading and frying it up and finishing with gravy. If Paula Dean wanted to live to see her ankles ever again she'd be whipping up grub like this....

The soundtrack:

For next time:  Our second and last weekend for this menu is Saturday night.  We have adapted the menu to an a la carte system.  Check it out here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 102

At the Stand: Sunny weather and the first pickings of the season had everyone in a good mood Saturday. Lettuce starts, tomatoes to plant, strawberries, and herb plants -- these are the beginnings of Spring.

Highlight of the Week: Chef Matt's Vegan Cole Slaw.  I didn't think it was possible, but Matt used silken tofu to create a ranch dressing that was stunningly good.  The sweetness of the quick-pickled cabbage and the red onion and carrots was complemented by the creaminess of the silken tofu and the refreshing earthiness of the dill and chives.  The ingredients were: cabbage, carrot, onion, red onion, dressing (silken tofu, sweet onion, garlic, rice wine vinegar, dill, chives, salt, black pepper, white pepper).

Mad Shouts to the Crew: Chef Matt, Val, Andy, SZ, Jay&Jaime, Jennifer.

This weekend: This is the final weekend for Day One's Southern Soul theme.....come get some before the final glass of agave sweet tea is poured!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day One: Jerusalem

Last Saturday was our first night of the Day One pop-up restaurant venture.  The menu was smash and our customers really enjoyed every part of it.  The most talked-about items were the 1) carob corinander cola (sweet-spicy complex flavor (cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, burnt sugar) with a good bite) 2) the beet broth that the kubbeh dumplings sat in 3) the maamoul (a semolina cookie with walnut filling and orange blossom and rose water essences) and 4) a late addition to the menu not of Jerusalem decent - a wisteria infusion drink provided by Lindsay Perry of Full Flower Herbs - so floral!

The day began inauspiciously at 5:30PM with a chimney fire at Pizzeria Toro that spewed smoke throughout Downtown and sent diners and gawkers to the sidewalk, soon followed by six fire trucks blocking off entry to Durham's Five Points.

We are looking forward this weekend to a Southern Soul Food theme.  We hope you can join us!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 101

Thanks to all who came out this week on a beautiful Spring day, 75 and sunny.  Durhamites were out in full force for the Art Walk and we and the food trucks on Hunt Street were busy busy busy.  This week we had Toasted Kale Salad, Empanadas de Pina (Pineapple Hand Pies), and BBQ Tofu Hand Pies.

Track of the Week:

This Week: After an ambitious Jerusalem-themed event, this coming weekend Day One gets funky with a Soul Food menu.

This Year's Lucky Dogs

These four vendors were chosen from many to be admitted to the Durham Farmer's Market Wednesday market, lucky dogs!  Maybe next year they will let us in!

From DFM market manager Erin Kauffman in her newsletter:

"And finally, the WEDNESDAY MARKET OPEN THIS WEEK!! This year, we have 4 new Wednesday Market vendors that will be selling with our regular Wednesday Market vendors. This year,Big Spoon RoastersImagine That Gluten FreeTempeh Girland Waterdog Farms will be at the Market. The Wednesday Market is open from 3:30 to 6:30 pm, weekly."

Monday, April 8, 2013

When Investment Bankers Go Vegan

"“Ten years ago I would’ve said no vegan restaurant would be successful, but people are looking for different ways to eat and this [Veggie Grill] is a great concept.” - Rahul Aggarwal, Brentwood Associates


Also, why do we need fast food at all (albeit a healthy fast food) if the human element of cooking is obviated?

"Programmable, state-of-the-art combination ovens store recipes, cook with moist or dry heat and really do take the guesswork out of cooking. An order-tracking system tells cooks when to start preparing various parts of dishes and requires their input only at the end of each order. Almost all activity is tracked in real time, which helps the managers run things smoothly."

Week 100

This weekend we celebrated our 100th weekend in business.  Thanks so much to all the regulars who came out and made it a special day (photos below).  It helped that the weather was fantastic (sunny and 65-70).  We also sold babkas to American Meltdown for their dessert course at the upcoming grilled cheese competition in Los Angeles (they plan to fill it with mascarpone and nut butter).

Yulya and Rubin

Alexis and Jonathan 

Jenna W. 



Casey and Ashley 

Stacy R.

 Tim M.

 Tom K. and family

Robin M.

The Crew: Shouts to our always-awesome crew: Jaime and Nancy, Chef Matt, Val, Andy, SZ, Jason&Josh.

Track of the Week:

This week: Our Jerusalem event is this Saturday, the kickoff of our new weekly pop-up restaurant!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Natural Sore Throat Remedy for Kids

My toddler is too young for cough medicine, so this "remedy" was prescribed by the on-call nurse I spoke with. You can give it to kids as often as their cough is consistently irritating,  and as she said, "you can't overdose on it."

Bring one cup of apple juice and two tablespoons of brown sugar to a boil.  Boil over medium heat for 10 minutes until it takes on a syrupy consistency.  Allow to cool and dispense in 1-2 tablespoon doses as often as needed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Week 99

This week at Berenbaum's: Coconut Macaroons (for Passover); Orange Kale Salad; Smokey Kale and Mushroom Savory Vegan Hand Pies; Caramelized Banana Sweet Vegan Hand Pies; Vegan Rice Crispy Treats.

Our Amazing Customers: AS, EC&SMG, Sherry+1, Natalie&Madeline&Harris, Beth&Edith, Yulya.

Shouts to our kickass crew: Val, Andy, Jaime&Jay, Sara&Jeff, Chef Matt.

Track of the Week:

Coming up: Next weekend, Market hours shift to 8AM to noon and it will be our 100th weekend selling at the Farmer's Market.  We will have a special giveaway so we hope you can make it!