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It must be time for a market update?

Isn’t it just! I have now been at the market for 15 weeks. 15 WEEKS!  That’s kind of exciting, isn’t it? It’s time for an update.

Life has been rather busy, I don’t exaggerate. Nor do I seek sympathy as it was good busy. Isn’t it good to be busy? However, the downside of this busy-ness is that normal service of recipes and randomness on this blog wasn’t possible. Mainly because I didn’t have much time to cook, and if I did, I didn’t have time to write about it. Then there was the sad day that my lovely DSLR camera was appropriated by someone else. I do have a tiny point and shoot but it just doesn’t cut the mustard for me and sadly, nay stupidly, it wasn’t insured, and I am not yet in a position to replace it. I miss the sharpness, the focus, the colours and the depth. I miss my camera.

So, after all that guff,  how has the market been? I’ve been diligently baking those blaas, week after week. Thursday 5am after Thursday 5am. Blaa after blaa. Trayful after trayful. Ovenload after ovenload. I’ve managed to increase my output, although this is not down to me, this is down to the hardest working member of the team, my trusty KMix.

Some months ago, the folks at Kenwood asked if I would like to try one. At this stage my wrists ached, my fingers sobbed, but dedicated as ever, I persevered with the bread. Aren’t I just the martyr?! All jest aside, it was very important to me that I make it and that I prove that I could. It seems silly now, but that was what I was thinking. Back to the trusty KMix. I knew that I needed a mixer for the bread, but I had yet to purchase. So, after a little internet research, I could only say yes, as it looked perfect for the Thursday morning bake offs for the stall.

So this gorgeous, sturdy piece of equipment graces my kitchen counter in a glorious red, and every Thursday morning churns and kneads. The yeast gurgles by the warm oven in snug anticipation. Its companion, a peppercorn blender, awaits its load on the weeks I have time to do a soup.

Testament to it’s sturdiness, was the morning when I, excited and over eager, loaded it to the max, nay beyond the max, and left it mix unsupervised in the corner on the table. I missed it slowly vibrate to the side of the table, and cascade to the floor.

SHRIEK! I plugged it out, picked it up, and, mildly panicked. Peevishly, I plugged it back in and attempted to turn it on once more. Unphased, it recommenced its job, and I, impressed with my hardest worker, returned to my soup.

Now, however, I must reconsider. The market is 2 days a week since mid-November, Thursdays and Fridays, and I can’t continue to bake the bread two days in a row and maintain my sanity. I want to do something different and I can’t help but feel that all of the time and enery the KMix and I put into the bread, could be spent trying new things and enjoying the adventure.

People love the pork and spiced apple sandwich, and they come back week after week for it (which is amazing – thank you). The slow roast lamb and aubergine relish is also a go-er, and I usually offer both. I know that if I make them, I will sell them, and this is a very important factor. If I don’t sell my produce, well then, it’s game over. But, at the risk of a strop, I also want to take risks and try new things and some old favourites. I want to try the salt beef from October again, I want to make more of the black bean chilli from November, the delicious spiced chickpea and feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing, some more smoked salmon.  I want to have several things on offer every time. Choice and colour, variety and vigour. The problem is, there’s only me to do it, and in order to deliver something must be sacrificed.

So, what to do? Why not be normal and buy the bread from a good source like other people do? Well now, I hate to be normal, it sounds so dull, but it does make sense. Why has it taken me until now to consider it?  I’ve bought in before for the Soho Market with those gorgeous bagels from Carmelli’s in Golders Green in October. I’ve bought bread from Sally Clarkes one day where I just couldn’t bake. They were great! So, the decision has been made, and I feel liberated, and quite excited for the next few weeks.

So, what to expect? Soup, meatballs, maybe savoury muffins! I intend to burrow around my cookbooks and savoury inclinations, and dig out some new recipes, and bring them to you at the stall. I will be back to write about them.

So, until then, I’ll get back to my research and see you soon!

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

11 Comments

  1. Hi there, I am Reading u and am quite inspired. Well done. Will try to make it to the Market. Keep it on!

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  2. Delicious pictures, making my mouth water. I like the look of the Kmix. I have a Kenwood Major for all my baking, such a sturdy machine, wouldn’t be without it and couldn’t manage without it.
    As with selling my baking, it’s knowing what sells and what doesn’t and yet wanting to try new things, often it’s a fine line, but a rewarding one when you do sell.

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  3. Did someone say roast pork and spiced apple sandwich? Salt beef? I’m salivating over meat at 8am on a Sunday morning… I need to get myself to this stall of yours.

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  4. Oh wow. We don’t have markets like that where I live. On a cold november morning when I’m at the farmers’ market in the nearest big town I would just LOVE LOVE LOVE a big pork and apple sandwich on a homemade blaa.

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  5. are you marketing on Xmas Eve, a Thursday? Hope so as I will be travelling from permanent abode in the frozen North and was hoping to catch you then.

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  6. I love your soups and the fact they are dairy free is good too. Hope you bring them back.

    I understand completely about the blaas – and a decision of buying from a quality supplier just does make sense, if occasionally you’re up against it time wise. I saw a fab recipe for Chilli Pumpkin Cornbread from HFW – now no-one at the market has that – and it looks less labour intensive …

    See you there later this week.

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  7. Loving the return of the blog ;-) You sound super busy! All food on the go sounds delicious…yum yum. A thought re: the blaas…you could make them during the week at times to suit you and freeze them? (not sure what size freezer you have, but this could be a way around the fresh bread/bought in bread dilemma?)

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  8. Love the sight of my favourite chillies ever- the yelloww Madame Jeanette! Still in the plan to have a taste of this food…in the market when I come someday!

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