Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ever Wonder?

This little bird flew to Seattle for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This city by the Sound fills my senses during every visit.  Planes over the Central District give a roaring background to the click and spark of cables on the busses.  Red neon is a blink of constructed sunset when my eyes aren't turned toward the Olympics or Cascades.  Buttery almonds, liquored apricot, and sweet cream tempt my tongue during walks by bakeries, and there are so many bakeries in this town.

Seattle is generous, giving me a bounty of both the expected and unexpected every day.  The image of the expected comes in the neon Public Market sign that hangs static above the winter agitation of the water.  Tourists, shoppers, and workers are welcomed to Pike Place Market by the slow glow of red gas - and the Holidays finds the sign competing with brightly colored trees and holiday lights.  (Photo taken by Elisabeth Percival during our walk to the Market to visit her beau).

The unexpected comes in a similar red neon sign that hovers heavy over an apartment building a few blocks away from the room where I wake up on my visits.  The Wonder Bread sign, recently reconstructed, sat atop the bread factory in Seattle's Central District neighborhood for 55 years.  This bakery beacon is a navigational tool when my sense of direction is lost in the distraction of my wandering. 

But what's unexpected about white bread, especially that of the Wonder variety, these days?  We know it's white and enriched.  We know it was the first bread to be commercially sliced.  Some of us may not be aware that slicing was ceased during the 1940's because slicing blades weren't available due to the limited metals.  But the unexpected of Wonder Bread came with their advertising campaign of the 1960's.  In an attempt to draw in a crowd of younger folks, Wonder Bread did away with their wholesome persona and started to tempt young men with the visages of young ladies offering up towering sandwiches of meat and cheese, all slipped between the pillowy softness of chewy white bread.   Wonder wasn't sexist though, as they offered up a blonde and willing boy for the likes of the hungry girls too.

I'm in the center of my Seattle trip, and I'm hoping for more days full of the unexpected.  These two birds  want to bring you the unexpected in all our breads and cookies.  We want you to unbundle our muffins and find inside the secrets revealed only in cheeks.  Our baked goods may not catch you a mate, but if you share, they may just snag you a new friend.

What do you think is the greatest thing since sliced bread?

- Trilety

Sunday, November 21, 2010


A busy week indeed! Tuesday evening we baked about five dozen muffins to fill our first orders through the Nebraska Food Co-op. Two here and two there. A half dozen here and another half dozen there. It was rather exciting to bake our own products for patrons, as we are quite used to baking for friends and family. And, as is true for all first times, there were unknowns and I was a little nervous. Tee-hee! But in the end, we found that we had prepared well for the launch. And after we had packed up the goods and slapped the freshly-printed labels onto our (recycled and biodegradable) boxes and bags, we sent them on their way, waving proudly as we saw them off to their new homes.

And we are launched! Officially out there in the world. I know that this all might sound melodramatic, but I get to be that way sometimes. Ha! Especially since this baking business has been in the back of my mind for some time now. And this is the right time to do it. This is all so happy and fortunate, and yet at the same time, it is super crazy surreal. Trilety and I keep saying that this all still feels like a big school project because we've been going along, doing research, taking steps; no big deal. And now, six months later, BOOM! Like, what does it feel like to own a business? Is this a business? This is a business! Small business and a huge accomplishment- and I am forever thankful for the foundation of love and support and intention that it's all built on.

Cheers to big, big baby steps!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Biscuits & Astronauts

I wasn’t a kid enamored by astronauts or rockets, and Space Camp didn’t interest me. I think it all seemed too obvious - a vehicle that takes to you space, so what?  Now, if a celestial tongue descended from the sky and licked us up to galaxies without gravity, then I might have paid attention.  But now I am ever curious at the heady thrill of the na├»ve aplomb of space travel.  I can’t resist thinking of astronauts returning to Earth as miniature versions of themselves because of the loss of bone suffered in space Bone Loss in Space

I found myself quickly un-slouched when astronauts were referenced in the Sanitation Class that Meg and I are taking at the local Institute for the Culinary Arts. 

In the 1950’s, NASA was confronted with two food issues in their space program: crumbs and food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria and toxins.  Crumbs float in zero gravity, and they float right into sensitive equipment and, I believe, possibly into an astronaut’s eye causing a painful cornea scratch.  Pillsbury solved this problem by producing bite-sized foods coated with a crumb-preventing material.  (a beneficial invention for those who date, or eat in the company of others)

Pillsbury had one more problem to solve.  Bacteria and toxins in food can cause illnesses that are characterized by vomiting, nausea, etc.  While zero gravity sex is a fantasy of many, zero-gravity vomiting is not.  The solution to food borne illness in space was found in Pillsbury’s formulation of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP pronounced hass-ip) system.  HACCP “is based on identifying significant biological, chemical, or physical hazards at specific points within a product’s flow through an operation.  Once identified, the hazards can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to safe levels.”  Basically, any potential point of contamination is identified and then critical limits, monitoring procedures, and corrective actions are established.  The HACCP system was the protective action under which the food for the Apollo spacecraft was prepared. 

Thanks to Pillsbury, we wear hair-nets (or until then, bandanas).  We bake for you like Pillsbury baked for the astronauts.   These two birds bake muffins, but if you’d like to bake some Astronaut Cupcakes at home this weekend then check out the recipe in this blog post: Astronaut Cupcakes

- Trilety

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Here We Are

So life has gotten interesting and quite busy in the past five months, since we made the decision to embark on this journey, the baking project. Sounds epic, right?

I've been working as a baker for almost 5 years now, off and on. I had always had felt drawn to the process and the idea of this profession and I love working with my hands. The idea that I am creating a finished product that people will enjoy makes me happy. It also feeds my hunger for a little nostalgia. I think about my mother and grandmothers in the kitchen with windows open. I think of holidays gone by. Love. Happiness. Sharing. All of that.

I've had the extreme pleasure of meeting my friend and now business partner, Trilety, two years ago. Owning a bakery together was our little pipe dream for awhile. Recently we made the decision to step forward and start this project. We are keeping busy and learning and growing exponentially. It feels wonderful so far and I'm looking forward to whatever comes next.


It's fall now, and the slow drop of leaves is a constant reminder of gravity.  It was just this past spring when Meg called and asked if I was interested in pursuing our love of baking, and doing so as partners.  My immediate answer was an excited "yes," and that excitement has remained through today.  Our baking adventure, to date, has been more about learning the ins and outs of business than about the sensory saturation of baking.  Memories are built in the nose and mouth, as much as in the mind.  Baked goods not only bring a linger of ginger or the contradiction of semi-sweet chocolate to your lips, but they also break down the boundaries of time and give you back to your mother's table or your grandmother's front porch.  Let us build you a time machine.

Welcome to our journey!  We encourage you to stop by our blog for weekly updates and posts about our story, our education, our recipes, our menu, and whatever other topics we think will taste as good to your brains as our baked goods do to your mouths.