Thursday, May 7, 2009

Farmers Market, Take 1

I admit that I didn't plan well. Heck, I didn't even start to plan. After returning from Wynell's wedding in Colorado on Monday at midnight, I caught up on my freelance work until Tuesday afternoon. The baking didn't officially begin until Tuesday evening, when I frantically started mixing up yeast doughs to proof overnight and sourdoughs to, well, sour. Sounds gross, I know.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the actual baking began at 8 am. A few dozen Rocky Road Brownies, Honey Walnut Bars, Cranberry-Lemon Scones later, the bread doughs were ready to shape, finally. It was nearing 11 o'clock, and I was starting to worry. Once I shaped them, they'd still have to rise again, and I had to question my organization of the ups and downs of oven temperatures through the loaves of sourdough, olive-feta, pine nut-sundried tomato, challah and, at the rear, demi baguettes. I had to leave for the market at 3:20 pm, giving myself 20 minutes to set up my booth. The last four rounds of bread were burning hot in their basket, and I cranked the car's AC to keep the rest of the bread from complaining.

It was the first market of the season, plus my first market ever, so I should have allowed myself more time. The lady in charge explained the bylaws for 15 minutes, repeatedly touching on the fact that the people just to my left are sketchy and she had hoped they wouldn't come back. They were standing ten feet away at the time, not quite far enough for me to be comfortable with her running commentary. George bought me a tent, but I (a) didn't have enough time and (b) didn't want everyone to see me wrestle it together for the first time when (c) I hadn't had time to shave my armpits. So the back of the SUV went up, and I set up my table in its slanted shade.

My entire stay at the market was 90 minutes, and I headed home far lighter than I arrived. Plus I have a better idea of what not to bake for rural America. While I was voted best looking booth (no mean feat), I mostly ran into questions. Be amused. I was.

What's this? (old man poking an olive)
I am looking for a bread that tastes good with butter.
What did you say? (I told them it was called "a baguette"; I guess it came off dirty)
I don't know what any of this is. Is it bread?
How do you bake this? Do you have an oven?
Do you have any bread without stuff in it?
How do you sell this? (translation = how much)
Is that what they call a scone?

When you are sampling, please know that you aren't at all sneaky. I just put those out, so when ten go missing, I know it was you. Just buy a brownie already and quit casually walking by. Yes you! I don't need a superpower, I can see you with my eyes.

1 comment:

Myntha said...

Oh what fun! You said I should come on a Thursday, but now I think I should come on a Friday so I can help you with the leftovers. :) Though I'm guessing that you'll get it down to a science soon enough that you won't have any leftovers at all.

I went to my Farmer's Market for the first time this season just yesterday. I came away with heavenly pastries and Edenly veggies, and had molasses cookies and caprese salad for dinner. Ah, Iowa.