Friday, April 11, 2014

Apron Strings

Karen is a professional baker. Her business, Apron Strings, is small. When you visit her sweet Craftsman house you smell fresh bread. Always.

Knowing she was going to offer bread and I was going to accept, the other day I took Karen some fig preserves from Super King Market in Altadena. Fig was not an easy choice to make. This product from Armenia, called Ararat, offers peach, cherry, apricot, and a variety of berry flavors. (Look in the jams and jellies section.) The fruit in the jar, mid-right, is whole, preserved in sugar and citric acid. We smooshed it and spread it on thick slabs of buttered, homemade bread.

Karen baked this loaf in a cast-iron skillet, using locally-grown and -ground flour. She also sent me home with English muffins she made on the griddle. I can attest to the fact that they are divine.

Is it just me, or are we all seeking an agreement between grid and off-grid in our lives? My neighbor and I are growing a vegetable garden in my back yard. Several of my neighbors grow food. Those who don't, buy it at local farmers' markets (juncture between grid and off-grid in business form). We find the seeds, the instructions, even the farmers' markets on the grid that is the internet.

It can be a pleasing intersection. You can't beat relaxing on the porch with a friend on a hot afternoon while consuming iced tea and fresh, warm bread, especially when it's not just any bread but Apron Strings bread, and it's slathered with butter and Armenian fig preserves, and your friend is such good company, and then you can come home and blog about it.

That's Gracie at the upper right. Gracie thinks bread is all right, but she is particularly fond of butter.

You can contact Karen to order bread at khirsch743 (at) gmail (dot) com.

18 comments:

William Kendall said...

A wonderfully composed image!

That bread looks utterly delicious.

And Gracie looks like an absolute sweetheart.

Petrea Burchard said...

William, you're correct about the bread and about Gracie, and since you're right on both counts I accept your compliment!

altadenahiker said...

Doubt I can live off the grid, but I could certainly live off the griddle if it promised homemade muffins.

Book Dragon said...

cute altadenahiker!

sigh, off to find my bread recipe . . d doubt they'll be as good but the house will smell like fresh-baked bread for a while!

Petrea Burchard said...

Good one, Hiker!

BD, I'll bet the aroma is worth the effort.

Dina said...

What could be better.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I have to admit that when I saw the photo my eyes melted.. Wow, gorgeous bread!.. also the butter and jam reminded me of France... Each morning hubby and I had fresh bread, jam and butter for breakfast... I know I frequent our farmer's mkt... There is quality there.. Heirloom tomatoes really taste like tomatoes.. Also u can't beat the ambiance.. The vendors are passionate about their produce.

Petrea Burchard said...

I know of a few things, Dina, but only a few.

KBF, I understand the passion of those vendors. I'm very excited about my garlic bulbs, and I'm not kidding.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Petrea: those garlic bulbs will keep squirrels away as well as produce some cute purple flowers

Susan Campisi said...

Yum! Sounds divine. I didn't realize until the end of the post that I've met Karen and Gracie and been to their lovely craftsman. It must've been before she started Apron Strings. I most certainly will indulge.

william braquemard said...

Looks delicious. Can't beat home baked bread.

Petrea Burchard said...

Susan, I know she's been doing Apron Strings for several years, but I don't know how long you've known her. She's the same baker who supplied all the goodies at Penny For Your Thoughts, the lovely shop that was once on Hill just north of Washington and which I sorely miss.

You're right about that, William. It's wonderful stuff.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Does anyone make local olive oil?

Petrea Burchard said...

I think you can get California o
live oil at the Pasadena Farmers' market, but I'm not sure where in California it's made.

Petrea Burchard said...

KBF, I didn't know that about squirrels and garlic. Our squirrels are pretty fat, they don't need to eat from the garden.

Katie said...

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! Karen's bread looks amazing. And I really like the mosaic (beaded?) box. I'm not sure I could survive very long on my own off the grid, but I sure enjoy the bounty of my mom's garden (and orange tree).

Petrea Burchard said...

Sometimes I fantasize about getting far away from the city, Katie, but I'd still need access to medical care. And the internet.
The box is a beaded tea caddy I've had for some time and I can't remember where I got it.

Ms M said...

Sounds wonderful!
Unfortunately, I'm rather "gridded" for now.