Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Playing With Food At The Farmers' Market!

And so, as mentioned in the last post, I have been trying my hand at being a vendor at the Bonnyville Tuesday Farmers' Market.  Thanks to a trio of encouraging women, I will be spending my fifth and final consecutive Tuesday at the Beaver River Fish & Game Building on August 6.  Sharon, Rosemary, and Jo-Anne have been forthcoming and generous with their suggestions about products, pricing, and more.  Thank you also to my neighbour, Beverley, who came over to help for the first week's effort!

My FM routine has developed into the following:
  • Friday and Saturday - go through my ingredients bins, see what's left and what's needed, plan my goods, look through online flyers, and do some shopping
  • Sunday afternoon and evening - mix, bake, create
  • Monday - mix, bake, and create some more
  • Tuesday morning - make labels, package up items
  • Tuesday early afternoon - take some photos, check my "Need for Market" list, pack up the van, and head to town
  • Tuesday mid to late afternoon - set up my table, smile, meet some new people, chat with friends, sell some treats, visit with other vendors, and talk about gluten-free cooking (a future post will be about the last topic)
  • Tuesday closing to bedtime - pack up, think about my growling belly awaiting supper, head homeward, drop off some unsold baking along the way with family or friends, appreciatively eat the meal the kids have made, put my feet up, and sigh with a smile
I'll share a few of the stories and photos of this venture with you in this and a few more postings.  Not all of the recipes are that exciting but if you want them, drop me an email and I'll send them your way!

    Week One
    Banana Mini Muffins
    (some with and some without chocolate chips)
    Butterscotch Blondies
    Ladybug Cupcakes
    LEGO Brownies
    Oatmeal Rice Krispie Squares with Cranberries
    Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Ladybugs - These critters were inspired by Sara Bakes Cakes from her website via Pinterest.
    C'est Pierre! 
    We gave him a name once we noticed that it looked like he had a goatee.
                  Pierre had some friends.                                       A LOT of friends. 

    A certain young gal suggested that we should make more small cupcakes than the larger ones.  Affixing the tiny mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to all of the small cakes made us both cross-eyed and have a bit of carpal tunnel in our index fingers and thumbs.  Perhaps you think that saying "tiny mini" is redundant, but we cannot understate the pain involved in the minutiae of this decorating!  We're talking two hours of it.

    LEGO Brownies - I almost wished Gregory was younger when I saw Rindy Mae's LEGO birthday party idea on her blog!  If you have a little LEGO lover, I encourage you to check it out.

    I made some homemade brownies with this recipe and figured out how to get the most pieces of the right dimensions for 4-spot, 6-spot, and 8-spot pieces.  I'm sure there are more specific terms for the different sizes but that's what I've always called them in my mind since playing with them as a kid!

    Next, I tried to make icing colours to match the M&Ms' hues, then spread it on the brownies while Miriam sorted the candies.  We're not sure if our results were typical but there were many, many more blue and orange M&Ms compared to the other colours!  We made as many proper LEGO pieces as we could, then made wonky ones with leftover icing and candies. 
    For the brown candies, Miriam just squirted on dots of chocolate icing and then stuck the M&Ms on. 
    Making the LEGO involved three hours of labour! :-P

                         LOL = Lots of LEGOs                                         All packed up and ready to go!

    Market Day Partner:  The Daughter

    • I was welcomed by the other vendors, felt very comfortable being there, and was visited by some friends and family who came to support me.
    • There was a big agricultural gathering the evening before so hardly any traffic ventured to our market and I took half of my wares home.
    • In addition (or should I say subtraction?) to the lack of adult traffic, there were very few, if any, children who came, so the items with kid-appeal weren't noted by many.
    • The ladybug cupcakes and the LEGO brownies, which took us hours to decorate, hardly sold at all.  I'm talking sales of 2 out of 9 containers of each!  I told Miriam that they were very good looking and that I enjoyed spending that time with her.  Also, the neighbours were appreciative of the shared treats left at their doors.  However, unless requested, we're not making those again! 
    • There were many people interested in the gluten-free products so I will pursue making more of those.  The baking times and temperatures as well as the texture of GF baking can be tricky and strange, respectively, so the learning curve will be steep!

    Verdict:  I had a good day with my daughter, had some time to socialize, enjoyed the smiles of people whether they bought my treats or just checked them out.  I decided to go back the next week.

    Thank you for coming by the busy Island!  If our paths haven't crossed yet this summer and you'd like them to, perhaps you'd like to drop by between 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. on August 6.  I hope everyone is having a good summer!


    1 comment:

    1. These are gorgeous!!
      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and your encouraging words!


    Drop me a line - comments, questions, and your own ideas are all very welcome! :-)