Monday, March 11, 2013

I won't be baking for the next few weeks

In less than three weeks I'm selling the last house that my late husband Rea & I renovated & lived in. Today was my first day devoted to cleaning out the garage, which I've been using as dead storage for years. I set up a few tables for sorting, surrounded myself with empty bins labeled "donate" "sell" and "save" plus a LARGE garbage can. With NPR on the radio & an ice cold drink I was ready to start. It was surprising how pleasurable the process was with my system in place. Emotions fluctuated between joy at discovering things I forgot I still had, and the bigger joy when I threw out irrelevant stuff. Desk drawers were emptied; boxes had their contents exposed & categorized and some familiar old sealed boxes were acknowledged without needing to be opened. 

Many years, and a few houses ago, I packed up several sets of dishes. They're loved & wanted but aren't ready for prime time yet. One of these days I'll lovingly unwrap each piece but I'll probably spend more time reading the old newspapers protecting them. I've always loved the hand-painted Deruta dishes with turquoise roosters that my mother-in-law brought home from Italy, and my daughter will finally get to embrace her great-grandmother's fine white German china with the platinum snowflakes. Then those cardboard boxes can finally be put to rest.

There's a grand variety of items to deal with. Everything from the very practical upright freezer that has given up its load of 

ripe Keitt mangoes, to the antique cigar lighter with references to General William Palmer and a famous hotel in Colorado Springs.

Rea's wonderful cherry desk, finished front & back, with legal file drawers holds so much yet it's only 19" deep & 6' long.

The other large piece is a hand refinished armoire with room on top for a TV & CD player, or clothes hanging from the pole, plus a ton of storage on the bottom three shelves.

I discovered a fabulous 1890's child's rocking horse in the basement of an old Vermont shop. Amazingly its brass arms could support me but I had to strip cracked goat hair off part of the body so my then two year old daughter could ride it comfortably. Personally I think exposing the beautiful hand carved wooden legs add to its charm.

My Dad had a wonderful neighborhood drugstore at Kings Highway & E 5th St in Brooklyn. 

One of his treasures was this 1927 Hamilton Beach Malted Machine, in addition to a slew of old pharmacy things like mortar & pestles, apothecary glassware and packaged drugs going back to the thirties...that's 1930's.

Tomorrow it's back to the garage for me. I'll send you a copy of what I list for sale on Craig's List. If you're interested in anything, or have questions, let me know.

Hugs & sneezes (I'm allergic to dust) from the garage,

in the Village of the Arts
932 12th Street West
Bradenton, FL  34205

(941) 746-6647

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'd rather be baking than packing...

This cold weather energizes me, which is a good thing because I'll probably have to spend the rest of the month organizing, cleaning, donating, packing & selling excess "stuff" stored at my house in Whitfield Estates. If all goes well with the house sale, we'll close on March 28th. 

I want to indulge my passion for playing with flour in the kitchen a bit longer this week. The next few weeks will all be about cardboard boxes, sealing tape, garbage bags & lots of decisions. At some point I'll probably have a Garage Sale, which I'm not looking forward to. I'll let you know what furniture, etc is up for sale when I'm ready to list them on Craig's List. My vast collection of kitchen & baking stuff, plus the antique collectibles from my Dad's pharmacy, will be dealt with a little later.

I managed to create some new items for the Palma Sola Farmers Market last Sunday, and they all sold out. Unless you were there you never got a chance to try them, so I'm going to make them all available again this week. The Cheddar Boule for 2  [$2.50]  is a small French (crusty outside, soft inside) bread filled/baked with cheese & herbs. That's the Cheddar cheese erupting above. I'm also going to make a Kalamata Olive Rosemary Boule for 2 [$2.50] because it sounds yummy in my imagination. The Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bar  [$3] was mind-blowing and I wouldn't mind enjoying it again (to balance my week of vegan-ish food in India). Didn't take pictures of it because my fingers (that I licked the crumbs off of) were too messy to use the camera. 

This week I read the final results of the Mediterranean Diet Study from Spain, a place where I've joyfully spent a reasonable amount of time. More veggies, fruits, olive oil, dark chocolate, nuts, fish, legumes. Okay, I'm on board. Let's start with a Pumpkin Date Nut Muffin  [$2]  which covers a bunch of the bases in a most delicious way. And look for my Veggie Hand Pie [$4.50] a meal in a flaky crust embracing fresh grilled eggplant, tomato, onion, mushrooms, sweet peppers & Provolone cheese. You can freeze them, then just reheat in the microwave or toaster oven.

There are just a handful (7) of my homemade jams left, until after the house sale when I'll have time to produce new ones. The paltry inventory consists of 1 Tangerine Lemon, 2 Strawberry Balsamic & Black Pepper and 4 Mango Strawberry Cardamom[$4] each. I'll be happy to save some for you, first come first served. 

I'm also baking fresh cookies [$1.50]  Chocolate Chip, Orange Dark Chocolate Walnut*, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut & Lemon Dark Chocolate* cookies...and Chocolate Orgasms*[$5] , of course!!
*contains Belgium Bittersweet Chocolate (heart healthy)

Plus  Rosemary Parmigiano Breadstix [$4] for the crunch in your life.

It's that time of year when I need to cut back my "Jack & The Beanstalk" Mexican Sunflower plants. To start your own, all you need is a short cutting which you bury in the ground, water a few times and forget it. A month later, after it looks dead, in most cases a healthy new shoot appears & grows to 20 feet (bushing out along the way). Great for screening areas; the flowers last a week in a vase & you then have a perpetual source of new plants. Let me know if you'd like some cuttings. FREE of course!! 

Items must be pre-ordered by 5pm Wed to guarantee their availability for pickup later this week. Everything is hand made in small batches. Most items on my listed menu might be available at the Sunday Palma Sola Farmers Market, unless sold out before.


call me at (941) 746-6647 or


by 5 pm WEDNESDAY 

 Pay by cash or local check made out to Bonni Brown


 at my home in The Village of the Arts  (932 12 St W)

FRIDAY or SATURDAY from 2-5   
Palma Sola Farmers Market SUNDAY 11-3

             I'm at Palma Sola Farmers Market  Sundays 11-3 
held at Geraldson's Community Farm in NW Bradenton. Go to their FaceBook 
link below where you can get driving directions  & more information 

 Hugs from my kitchen,  Bonni

Twinkie, in charge of packing, moving & twig removal

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Some thoughts about what to do this Sunday

This Sunday I have a delicious suggestion of what to do with a head of organic celery and a few apples. The weather helped by nudging me in the right direction and I decided to make vegetarian CELERY APPLE BISQUE. It tastes great cold (think Vichyssoise) or hot, as you can sample it Sunday from 11-3 at the Palma Sola Farmers Market tomorrow. The free recipe and advice (from me) will be available, as well as the organic ingredients at very fair prices (better, fresher & cheaper than at Whole Foods).

I wasn't sure what I was capable of baking this week because I spent so much of it catching up on sleep & absorbing the 10 1/2 hour time difference & jet lag since India. BUT IT'S OVER, I'M BACK!!!

Stop by the Palma Sola Farmers Market and you'll find a few of my new yummy items. There are wonderful mini-breads that I call CHEDDAR BAGUETTES FOR 2, because you can share one for a meal, or pig-out & make it a total meal for one (as I did tonight). Fabulous toasted, as I like most things. The cheese that oozes out & bakes tastes just like bacon...if you're Kosher.


I don't have a photo of this next one because we ate it too quickly. It's an APPLE CRUMBLE CHEESECAKE BAR. If you're looking for a light but decadent dessert, have I got something for you. All of us who taste-tested this today smiled...swooned...then grinned like idiots after licking the crumbs off the plate. It combines so many delicious things without being overwhelming or too sweet. Consider your taste buds embracing a shortbread crust, topped with cheesecake, sauteed cinnamon apples and a streusel topping. You have to experience this. To me it tastes like Apple Crumble Pie with vanilla ice cream...not, but better. Amazing.
You'll also find Chocolate Orgasms, Lemon Blueberry Muffins, juvenile jumping goats who love to be petted, an assortment of  BONNIBAKES cookies (especially those made with Belgium chocolate) and more stuff. Just wanted to say "hi" now that I'm mentally back in FL. Drop by tomorrow I'll share a big hug because with the chillly forecast we'll need all of the warmth we can muster.

              Palma Sola Farmers Market  Sundays 11-3 
held at Geraldson's Community Farm. Go to their FaceBook link 
where you can get driving directions  & more information 

 Hugs from my kitchen,