In Lieu of blog- new allergen posting at Markets

I’ve been very busy this week trying to expand to more markets, which means more employees and more work our team on the spectrum!!!

In Lieu of a blog I’m posting a new sign we will have displayed at the market about allergens

Allergens

We started Gluten/Dairyfree cooking because of our son’s needs

We started this business because of our son’s needs

Please make decisions when purchasing based on your needs!

We are currently renting kitchen space. We process using best practices in a facility that also process wheat, milk, tree nuts and peanuts.

 

Gluten     You are safe to eat anything!

Dairy        You are safe to eat anything!

Egg           Sorry, in an effort to be indistinguishable or better than gluten counterparts, all the baked goods contain eggs, Please ask for a card and we can arrange to bring an egg free version next week.

Fish/Shellfish     Sorry, in an effort to use whole foods in their most natural state, we use fine sea salt in our baked goods. Please make a decision based on your needs

Tree nuts No snickerdoodles

No Brownies (coconut only)

Peanuts   No cereal treats

If you are reactive to Lupine/legume

NO pizza crusts, white sandwich bread, or donuts

Soy           NO cornbread or chocolate cupcakes

 

Bad Luck comes in 3’s

My Grandma, Maggie Cavanaugh, was very superstitious.  I grew up believing something ominous was going to happen, if I didn’t salute a crow. When I hear an ambulance, I still grab a button and say a prayer. I don’t walk under ladders. For most of my childhood in an Irish-American household on the Southside of Chicago, I avoided sidewalk cracks, which is pretty tough, when you’re from my neighborhood. The list goes on and on of the superstitions I was raised on. One thing we all knew growing up in my Grandma’s house was that bad luck comes in threes. If you stopped by our stand in Carmel last week, I may have told you we had a few hiccups in the kitchen. They were pretty big hiccups/ bad luck.

#1-  I thought things were going well, too well, until about 11:30 am or an hour and a half into production. We make huge batches of things in a mixer that’s as big as I am. We were completing the batter for the cupcakes when J man told me we were 4 teaspoons short of xanthum gum. That’s only about 10 % of the xanthum gum needed for the number of batches we were making. A ton of expensive ingredients were already in the mixer.  If you know anything about gluten free baking, you know the cupcakes were never going to turn out without the complete amount of xanthum gum. We needed more xanthum gum.

I couldn’t just run to store for it because my husband had dropped J man and I off that morning at the kitchen.  I called my husband and he was about an hour away but he could bring us some xanthum gum. J man and a lot of people on the spectrum do very well using an activity schedule. It’s basically a to do list. It makes things predictable and safe, especially in new environments or when learning new tasks.  In the kitchen, I call it the production schedule, because it sounds more professional and he is a professional. J man couldn’t cross off cupcakes from his list. So, J man could not move to the next thing on his list. All production halted in my pay by the hour rented commercial kitchen. We probably couldn’t have moved on anyway, because we would’ve needed the mixer.

We took a break for lunch and did some busy work. The busy work led us to #2. We didn’t have any brownie labels. When my husband got there with the xanthum gum, he said he’d turn around, go home and print the labels. We continued with the production schedule, finishing the cupcakes. Up next were the brownies or #3. Size matters. We use brownie pans that make single serve brownies. Getting a consistent portion of brownie batter into each tiny square, proved to be an incredibly difficult task for my team. But I felt relieved, I knew this was # 3, the end of our bad luck and it was smooth sailing ahead. We’d figure out a solution for consistent measuring. Next week, our brownies will all be perfectly sized.

There was no smooth sailing ahead. I said I grew up in an Irish-American household. Yeah, we got crazy superstitions. But we also came up with Murphy’s Law. If anything can go wrong, it will.  My husband brought back the brownie labels. Unfortunately, they were printed on the wrong side on the paper and not usable.  We burnt the marshmallows. After the brownie size battle, we had a cereal treat size issue too! If you were at the table, you saw the multiple sizes. We also ran hours over our time in the kitchen.

Regardless of all the hiccups and bad luck, we had a great time. I love being able to goof off in the kitchen with J man. He didn’t care how long we were there. He loved it. His brownies might not have been consistent but his mood was! It was great.    Yes, I may have grown up in a very warped environment, where if I didn’t throw salt over my shoulder doom would fall upon me. But belief in all that silly magic, prepared me for my life now. It was just faith in knowing that there’s something bigger. I feel very blessed to be working with J man and the rest of the team. I blessed with good humor that won’t allow me to discourage by a batch of hiccups/bad luck.  So that being said, I’ll end this blog with a much more positive Irish proverb than Murphy’s law.

My blessings out number my troubles. See you at the markets next with perfectly portioned cereal treats and brownies.


We Did It!!!

We Did It! My heart is bursting with pride and joy!

Our first goal in this enterprise was just getting our products to market. We did it!  Our booth was up, with products ready to sell. I was so proud of everyone involved. There were customers. We were so grateful for the customers who were out in 40 degree rain to the market. The challenge wasn’t my guys in the kitchen or people understanding our product. Our challenge was the WEATHER. Notice I said booth at the opening of this paragraph. One of the markets cancelled due to flooding.

With all my planning, recipe testing and spreadsheets, the only snag was something we couldn’t control, the weather. The universe keeps plopping this lesson in my lap, Man plans, God Laughs. I’ve said it before in earlier blogs, I’m a list maker. I order, organize, systemize, methodize and set the objectives. While I was running around doing that, it was flooding in central IN. I was planning and God was laughing.

About midway through our work/bake day on Friday, the Fishers market was cancelled. My very clever husband said let’s go to Carmel with what we have now. I would have kept the guys going, because that was on my list. Thank God, for my husband being the voice of reason. It was a blessing that one of the markets got cancelled. We got a chance for a soft opening. Both my husband and I got to run through a market day together, opening to close.

Another blessing was bringing a smaller menu to the market. I thought we needed to bring a full slate of items to the market, several breads, cookies and cakes. I realized on last Saturday I need to approach to approach our work/bake day like any skill set I teach the J man. Each recipe/item will be a target. When we successfully get each recipe/target to market we will add another item/target.  So we won’t be coming this weekend with 12 different items. We are just going to add one more thing. And It’s amazing!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRISPIE CEREAL TREATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   WARNING, they are addictive!

So, this Saturday, my guys will be bringing

Chocolate cupcakes

Snickerdoodles ( We sold out last week)

Chocolate chip Cookies ( we had 2 left at the end of the day)

Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Treats

& Single Serve Soymilks

 

I am so proud of my guys. Not only did we get our products to market, everyone loved them! People couldn’t believe they were gluten & dairy free! Come see us! When you do come to the stand, if you see something new, know that means my guys are getting better. They are learning and growing!  

My guys will be busy baking tomorrow and I’ll be busy running around in circles planning. I’ll never learn my lesson. Keep the laughs coming God, because I truly devise my best plans when I’m forced to improvise!