A couple of weeks ago, I stopped making bagels for the farmer’s market. Selling bagels was something that I always wanted to try but I got to a place where I couldn’t grow the business anymore (I definitely reached my capacity in terms of the number of bagels that I was able to make at home, by hand) and the amount of effort that went into making them, was just too much. I loved being at the market and talking to customers and other vendors, but I started hating making the bagels. As soon as that feeling set in, I knew it was time to move on. I want to get back to the place when kneading and shaping dough is therapeutic, not stressful. I have to say, overall I am very happy with my decision. On top of freeing up tons of my time, I’ve been able to reclaim my freezer. One of the toughest things about making the bagels was the fact that I had to keep my freezer as empty as possible all of the time. I would ration a bag or two of frozen fruit so that I could keep making my smoothie bowls but that’s about it. I’ve been working to re-stock it with meals so that I can have some dinners ready to go after a busy day. So far I have made these dumplings, these veggie burgers and my favourite vegan bolognese. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have some back up every once in a while.
The summer fruit was here and now it’s gone. It happened so fast. Summer is definitely my favourite time for fruit, and I eat a lot of it. It’s my snacks, my breakfast, and my dessert so I need to fill the void fast. The past couple of weeks the best fruit I can get my hands on is definitely the plums. I love stone fruit so much and I am more than pleased that the plums are delicious at this time of the year. I bought some plumcots at the store the other day and have been snacking on them whenever I need a bit of a pick me up. In even more exciting news, I also came across these small purple Italian plums at my local organic grocery store. They are a lot smaller than the black plums I normally get. While I am sure I could have easily eaten a dozen throughout the week, these little plums were destined for something greater. Something I have wanted to try for a long time now, a plum cake that I read about on Smitten Kitchen a couple of years ago.
I have recently found a lot of joy in drinking a mugful of something steaming hot and delicious. It’s almost always tea, sometimes hot chocolate, and even more rarely apple cider. In fact, I think that the one and only time I made apple cider was late last spring, when we got caught in a freezing cold rain storm wearing nothing more than shorts and a tank top. I got home, drenched, chilled to the bone, and all I wanted was a nice, spicy, hot mug of cider (which at the time was odd, how do you suddenly start craving something that you never consume?).
Before my food blogging days when having people over for dinner required tried and true recipes rather than an excuse to test new recipes on other people, this apple cake was my go-to desert. Unsurprisingly, it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe. Surprisingly, the first time I made it, I was convinced that I had done something horribly wrong. The original recipe instructs you to pour the batter into the tin, and there is no way (in the half a dozen times I have made this) to pour this batter. It is thick. Most of the time, I spread the batter with a wooden spoon, sometimes even using my fingers to distribute it evenly. Anyway, I should have trusted the Smitten because despite my initial doubts, this cake is absolutely delicious time and time again. It’s a total crowd pleaser.