Wow! I didn’t know selling Real Bread could be so much fun. When I first started baking, I was so addicted to it, that the the only way I could continue to get my ‘fix’ was to start giving it away so that I could make more and more; the trouble is, that giving away bread doesn’t help with all the equipment and flour I have to buy. So I became an uncomfortable seller; it’s a bit like standing in the middle of a group of people and saying, “hey, look at me, aren’t I just the best??!!” It sends shivers.
Particularly as in the immediate area where I live, very few people understand about how unnatural additives, flavourings and too much salt in food can be bad for our health, let alone care. (Although to be fair, just because I know and care, it doesn’t mean that everyone else should care either, I respect that). So my first Farmer’s Market experience at Hexton on Friday, was an absolute joy. Wonderfully friendly, like-minded sellers and a gentle flow of interested, like-minded individuals, all there to buy good nutritious food to take home and appreciate what it takes to sustain a healthy body. With some much appreciated help from my lovely mum taking care of business, I was also able to chat to some lovely people and we are both very much looking forward to the next one on 21st September – check out my Event page for info.
I have a little break from Saturday baking for a couple of weeks, returning with gusto on 8th September. Please order from me via email/text/phone by Wednesday evening, before 9pm.
Well I had a good weekend! I was on the Radio. To be specific, it was Nick Coffers Weekend Kitchen on BBC Three counties. I was delighted to be asked to be on a couple of months ago and was really nervous Saturday morning when the day arrived. I was one of 3 guests – Ruth Hurren, owner of Darcy’s, a very successful restaurant in St Albans (just celebrated 10 years!) and Joe Amos, who like myself is a total food fanatic and a very nice bloke to boot. We all had an hour to prep our dishes to present and taste over the airwaves and then led by the absolutely charming Nick Coffer, we sat, chatted and ate throughout the 2 hour show. It was incredible fun, I loved meeting Nick and my fellow guests and was only disappointed by the fact that the show didn’t have ANY of my song choices to play during the programme. I guess I must have very eclectic tastes! If anyone missed it and wants to stick it on whilst ironing or something to see what I had to say, you can listen again through this link: www.josloaves.co.uk/radio
I also found out last night, that my absolute food hero, Raymond Blanc, paid a visit to the Redbournbury Watermill in St Albans, just 2 days before I had been there! He is opening a Petit Blanc Restaurant in St. Albans and was checking out all the local suppliers. Just the thought that I have walked in his footsteps, the fact that he may well have seen my recipe cards displayed at the mill, gives me massive waves of excitement; I have so much admiration for this man who has passion in abundance for good food and good ingredients in a way that totally inspires me. Incredible. I wonder if he’s looked me up on the Real Bread finder on the Real Bread Campaign’s Website? Imagine if he wanted to check out MY bread! I think I would pass out. I had visited the Mill to pick up my 4 bags of flour for the coming week; I have to be careful though, shifting 100kg of flour is no mean feat – thank you to my husband for getting it out of my boot and to the Mill for getting it in. I will be selling my bread at the Hexton Farmer’s Market this Friday, so I am spending a lot of time this week planning and making sure it will all go to plan. Thankfully, my mum is going to help out on the Friday. We’d love to see you there from 1pm. If I sell out, I’m not hanging around! I am aiming to take about 66 loaves made up of my 3 classic loaves, Spelt and also two types of Focaccia bread. Next Bakes:Friday 17th August (collect from Hexton Market, unless prior arrangement in place)Saturday, 25th August (local delivery 9-9.15am/collect from home 9.15 until 10.30)Saturday, 8th September (local delivery 9-9.15am/collect from home 9.15 until 10.30)
I’m not saying my tasting event last Saturday was a complete disaster, but it was a complete disappointment. around 4 to 500 invitations were posted through doors in the run up and I had less than a dozen people show and most of them were already faithful customers. I partly blame the olympics; even though I had to be up at 5am the following day, I still managed to stay up for most of the ceremony – I finally became angsty at 12.20 during Seb Coe’s long speech and turned in before the end – was THAT ever a decision to regret. (Thanks to YouTube, I have now seen the final glorious conclusion). So I would imagine that like me, many people were too tired to be bothered to leap out of bed on a Saturday morning to pay tribute to a mad local baker whom they’ve probably never met. I did feel pretty low afterwards though and started to question whether my efforts are all worthwhile. As the week has gone on, I realise that it’s not just about the fame and fortune, it’s about me enjoying what I am doing, and I am, so I shall carry on and people can think what they dam well like. Hurrumph. Have I mentioned that next Saturday I am going to be on BBC THREE COUNTIES Radio?? Well I am. 12-2pm on Saturday the 11th. It’s Live. I will be like Jelly. And the following week, I will be at Hexton Farmer’s Market on Friday 17th August, 1pm until I sell out. Today is my lovely husband’s birthday. After today’s loaves are baked, I shall be chilling with my family and enjoying a lovely weekend.