Monday, October 8, 2012


The other night I knew I was being watched. You know that uneasy state where you can feel someone's eyes burning into your back. I looked out of all the windows but saw nothing. Then I noticed a fist sized dark blob covering a large portion of one pane. It was too dark to make it out, so I took a picture with my camera using flash. Look who was there? Ribbet...ribbet.

Not exactly Jack The Ripper, so I continued making Farmer Cheese. This was the first time I've attempted cheesemaking and it was easy, quick and ultimately delicious. It's the cheese used as filling in Jewish pastries and dishes like blintzes. Farmer Cheese is a semi-dry fresh cow's milk cheese, similar to ricotta but firmer.

You bring whole milk and buttermilk to a specific temperature then add a small amount of acid, white vinegar in this case. That causes the milk to separate into curds & whey. The same power breakfast that Litte Miss Muffit favored. Drained a bit, the curds are wrapped in cheesecloth (see above) then drained some more. Add a bit of salt, mix and you're done. If you'd like the recipe send me an email.

Yesterday Mike (who you probably remember from Bonni Bakes Bakery/Cafe) & I had an extraordinary Taste Test. This one was almost 3 years in the making. My very amusing kids, Abby & Rob, sent me a Miracle Plant for my birthday back then. It's a tropical bush that produces red berries with an amazing property. Once you chew and eat one, anything else you taste for 30 minutes is incredibly sweet. My little bush hasn't been very productive but finally we had a ripe berry, which my dog Twinkie agreed to guard with her life. Look carefully at the lowest bunch of leaves. The lone berry is in line with the bottom of the wood. Not easy to spy.

A close-up gives you a better idea of what this fruit, the size of a cannellini bean looks like.

We were amazed at the Miracle Berry effect. Lemon wedges tasted like lemon drops; wine passed for sweet non-carbonated soda; herring was a dead ringer for gummy bears; grainy mustard became a sweet sauce. The less appealing were blue cheese which was down right yucky and American cheese tasted like plastic. Radish was so-so and sweet pickles were really sweet. Lots of fun and surprises. I've told Rob the next berry will be his. 

The Village of the Arts October ArtWalk this past weekend was a joyful explosion of energy, art and food as music and delighted people filled the streets. Remember Village businesses are open all month, with each setting their own hours. Gallery  information and details of upcoming events can be found at

You're all invited to the Riverwalk Grand Opening along the Manatee River downtown. The waterfront has been transformed with the addition of a skateboard park, beach volleyball, shaded seating, bathrooms, kiddie splash park, fishing pier, free day dock for visiting boats and tons more. The celebration is Oct 18th, starting at 4:30. Click on this link to read all about it, and see the enormous list of events happening there during October.

Wondering what I'm making in the kitchen this week? I thought you'd never ask. The momentary cool Fall breeze I felt whispered "Onion Roll" to me. It's the perfect embrace for any sandwich filling including just butter; has a distinct texture & personality, plus the honest flavor that factory made rolls can't even imagine. If you grew up in New York City, and you're spoiled like me, you'll appreciate the real deal. I'm only capable of making a limited number, so if you want some order early. Half dozen/$4.50

Geraldson's Sunday Farmer's Market begins this weekend, Oct 14 from 11-3. Located in NW Bradenton across the street from Robinson Preserve, they sell extra organic produce from the farm alongside vendors like me selling their locally made food & crafts. If you want a larger amount of produce every week, there is like still time to buy a seasonal share from this organic CSA farm. Find all of the details plus  sign-up information at Visit the farm and watch your food grow. It doesn't get more local than this! 

Here are some of the things I'll have at the Market this Sunday.

Homemade Jam, Chutney & Sauce
Mango Strawberry Cardamom, Mango Daiquiri, Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper, French Strawberry, Mango Chutney, Mango Sauce (new), and Mango Butter (new).

Rosemary Parmigiano, Roasted Garlic Blue Cheese

Breakfast (bacon, corn & Cheddar), Cranberry Orange

Chocolate Orgasm Cookies
Mostly Belgium Dark Chocolate, chocolate chips & almonds

Belgium Dark Chocolate Orange Walnut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Belgium Dark Chocolate Lemon (no nuts), Classic Chocolate Chip (no nuts) 

Order must be received by 5pm Wed
Call me at (941) 746-6647 or email

Pick-up at my house in The Village of the Arts
Friday or Saturday from 2-5 (or by appt)
Sunday at Geraldson's Farmer's Mkt 11-3

Cash or local check made out to "Bonni Brown"

932 12th Street West
down the driveway, thru the white iron gate, to the house in back

Hugs from my kitchen,

        Bonni Brown

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