Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Week Two Of Playing With Food

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all had a great summer.  I'm on a momentary return from School Start-Up (the paperwork is not quite finished yet!), ready to go back in time to July.  This must be the influence of watching "Back to the Future III" last weekend. :-)  Larry can never resist that series...

From Week One to Week Two of being a Farmers' Market baking vendor, I made a few decisions:
  1. No more crazy decorating unless it was going to pay off better!
  2. Perhaps I should lower my prices in case that was a consideration.  Besides, I'd had time to figure out most of the ingredients' prices per mass/volume by then and it wasn't costing as much as I thought it would.  

Week Two
Banana Mini-Muffins and Loaf
Extreme Chocolate Cupcakes 
(made from batter from cake in my July 19, 2012 posting called
"Happy Birthday! Cakes Part I" which you can get to by clicking here)
Fishy Pops
Watermelon Krispie Treats
Less-Crunchy Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chunky Apple Gluten-Free Muffins

Fishy Pops
I "pinned" these fun little treats in June, not necessarily intending to make them, but for the "Cool!" comment factor.  They were samples from a Polka Dot Goldfish Birthday party theme from Pizzazzerie

Super-cute marshmallow pops for ocean theme!

Truly, they weren't really hard to make.  Having experimented with making cake pops, however, the dipping of the marshmallow in candy melts and then tapping and twirling them to create a smooth, even coating was a bit trying!  Since then, I've pinned a page by Homemaker Chic writer Noelle on how to make foolproof cake pops, so perhaps I will click here and try again someday!

I thought that one little fish on a marshmallow wasn't that satisfying to look at, so I doubled the marshmallows so I could get a few crackers on.  I didn't have any pearl sprinkles as per the original photo, so I used some coarse sugar-looking sprinkles I had for bubbles.  I'd used white chocolate chips before on a fishbowl cake and cupcakes for Miriam a few years back but the points of the chips weren't pokey enough to really hold them in.  I wasn't in a hurry to have to redip the marshmallows should chocolate chips start sliding down their sides!

Here are my little guys!

The ingredients you'll need are as follows if you'd like to give it a try:
- nice, puffy marshmallows
- blue candy melts  (I used Wilton's from Lakeland Variety in BV)
- graham wafer crumbs  (buy as crumbs or you could crush the wafers very finely)
- Goldfish crackers  (I picked out ones with smiles - I hadn't noticed the stoic swimmers before!)
- coarse sugar or clear sprinkles
- lollipop sticks or 6" skewers

Watermelon Krispie Treats
The original idea for Tangy Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats is from Dine And Dish and the tutorial version I saw the Pin from was from Glorious Treats.

I found that one batch of the recipe filled three 8" round cake pans about halfway up; that was fine because when I cut them in eighths, they would fit in my Wilton's Mini Treat bags for individual sale.  If they fit too high in the pan, I had to trim them to fit.  Trimming = time + tempting leftover bits!  At this time, I started to wonder how much weight the family would gain from eating all of the scraps from treat paring...
 Thanks to the Watters Family for being my #1 Watermelon Treat customers!

Week Two Summary

Partner:  The Hubby
The Goods:


The Results: 
  • Way more traffic meant better sales!  I probably took home only a quarter of what I made but the son was quite happy to gobble down the leftovers.
  • Lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" received for the Fishy Pops and Watermelon Krispies.  Some of the older FM visitors looked at them with wide eyes, and then at me, then back to the treats, and I imagined them thinking, "That's a whole lot of fussing to make those things..."  I have had the good fortune, in my privileged generation, to not have to feed a threshing crew, take care of many offspring, do laundry nor maintain a garden at the same time as many of the elders did, and I appreciated their perspective.
  • I compared a few prices of similar goods from my table to other tables and had time to calculate the cost of ingredients so decided to adjust some of the prices for the next week.
The Verdict:  It was getting better and I'd be back for three more weeks!

From Market, From Market, That's All For This Gig
Back Home To My Island, Jiggety-Jig!

I planned to continue my narration of all five weeks' I pedalled my wares at the Farmers' Market, but I think I lost the spark for writing so many of the same type of piece.  Therefore, I shall include photos and their accompanying tidbits in upcoming posts but will retire from it for now. 
I sum up with the following:

My great thanks for all of the vendors for supporting me with kind words and trying some of my items, especially for being guinea pigs for the gluten-free ones!  Your continued comments after my five weeks in your company of "When are you coming back?" were and are appreciated.  I am probably going to give it a go again next summer but we shall see what turns out.  (The zucchini is smiling, by the way, and thanks to my pal, Tracy, for gifting me him/her!)

I also send gratitude to my friends and the passers-by for coming by to visit and also to try a thing or two.  I feel like I owed a few of you a refund for the early high prices and I hope it made it up to you before I packed up my table!

And, of course, I wish to let my husband, kids, and other family and friends know how much it meant to receive their encouragement to follow the fun spark of an idea and try a new venture.  The piles of dirty dishes, bins of F.M.-only ingredients, and my focus on food from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday nights for the five weeks must have been a bit frustrating at times, but you kept on smiling and giving me feedback on the taste and presentation of the treats. 
I love you all, even more than semi-sweet chocolate!  ;-)

May our paths cross again at the Island soon. 

P.S.  If you're getting in a Hallowe'en kind of mood and you're new to my blog, I have a post on festive food for the occasion right here!

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