Spring is finally here! Just about everyone’s leaves are fully expanded, and at least the promise of warmth is in the air, even if I am still wearing my woolies now and then.
Spring means change here at Pannier too. In the last week or two I’ve been sorting out an oven schedule that will work with the summer programming at the park. If you’ve never hung out at Dufferin Grove in the summer, there is much fun to be had: campfire parties, pizza oven parties, Friday night suppers, and the Thursday market of course. The ovens get used four or five times a week, which is wonderful, but that heavy use means I have to change my bake day.
Starting the first week of June, I will be moving my bake and delivery day to Mondays, so the schedule for the next four weeks is:
- Wednesday May 22
- Wednesday May 29
- Monday June 3
- Monday June 10
One sad consequence of this change is that Laurie will no longer be able to deliver bread to you. It has been amazing working with her, and I so feel lucky to have gained a friend as well as a collaborator. I am in the process of working out the details of Monday delivery, so I will keep you posted. My goal is to make the transition to Mondays as smooth as possible!
Those of you who know me know that I can’t stay away from West Virginia. I am in love with the music and dance of course, and the ancient mountains and valleys. But last summer I also fell in love with the people. I spent a month on a small market farm near Elkins, WV, which is where I met Mimi and Alain.
Mimi was the first baker to welcome me, a complete novice, into her bakery. And what an inspiration! Mimi bakes twice a week out of her–dare I say gorgeous–garage, supporting herself and her artist husband Alain. With the generosity that seems to go with the trade, she fielded all of my questions and freely shared her knowledge. Much of what I have put into Pannier can be directly traced to that warm August afternoon!
The entrance to Lafontaine bakery!
And what did we tackle that day? Oh just croissants. Three different recipes, no less! Yes, there was a tasting, in the garden of course, with coffee served on a tray. There is nothing I would have changed about that day!
Once a year Mimi makes a ramp sourdough for the customers of LaFontaine Bakery. Ramps are wild leeks, that show up for a week or two in early spring. They are nearly always foraged; I am getting mine this week from the good folks at Forbes Wild Foods at the Sorauren Farmer’s Market. Mimi has generously shared her recipe with me, which I have modified to work with my mixing method and schedule.
Here’s to you Mimi! Thanks for everything.