The Good, the bad and the dusty

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It has been a very interesting few weeks. The construction that they said would take 3 weeks is nowhere near finished … with no real end in site.  I’ve always thought that assistant directors should run all projects. Things would be done on time, on budget and run super smoothly. That said, the construction crew has been super friendly and really great with helping our customers to get themselves, strollers, and bikes into the shop. One bonus is that all the kids reeeeeally love all the construction so feel free to come sit in the window and watch the snails pace progress happen. It’s kinda like a built-in babysitter. Just saying.

Our new pastry chef Corey Chin-Yick has been hard at work developing and baking new delicious summer treats for everyone. Welcome aboard Corey, we are so happy to have you on the team.

We want to continue to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for braving the fences, trucks, caution tape and at times noise and dust to come grab bread, coffees and other staples. Please remember we are here every day baking delicious bread. Thank you so much for your continued support and patronage. We are so lucky to have the best customers.

Despite being in the epicentre of construction, we got a great mention in the “Best of the City” Bakeries in Toronto Life. What fantastic company to be in! We are so proud and thankful to be noticed. We swear we did not pay or sleep with anyone to get it. So that must mean YOU are talking about it and loving what we are doing so thanks for that. Let’s all keep up the great work – baking and enjoying delicious bread!

We hope everyone is having a fantastic summer. There are so many beautiful and fun things to do in Southern Ontario. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful part of the world.

Attached is a slideshow of whats been happening this July

Peace Out

 

 

An Italian Garden

One of our lovely customers, Diane Bruni, connected us with her parents, Gina and Pasquale who have been gardening this plot of land for 60! years. We have the incredible fortune of planting a rather giant garden this summer in the most beautiful soil and dreamy space. We’ve somehow managed to get almost everything in the ground – here are a few pics.

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Bread School

Last week our local Montessori elementary class came to the bakery for a sourdough bread workshop. Every year the elementary students work on a “Cosmic Plan” that helps them understand a topic and it’s myriad connections to the world. This year their topic is Bread. The kids were so curious and interested in what we do. We talked about agriculture, culture, sciences, math, history, and had tactile experiences making, shaping and eating the bread. They were excellent students and made the most beautiful loaves of bread to take home. Thanks everyone for coming to visit and to learn about how Real Bread is made. Hope to see you soon!

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Bread and Roses in Havana

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Food in Cuba is a conundrum. Coming from Canada, a culture/country that increasingly fetishizes food and chefs, Cuba can feel like a food desert which is weird because they can grow food all year, they are surrounded by ocean and there is a lot of grazing land for animals. You often find yourself asking “where is all the food???”. Making meals there is an exercise in creativity, resourcefulness and good fortune. Finding anything in the stores other than canned vegetables, tubes of pressed meat, sodas and booze is a miracle. Mostly you end up buying things on the black market with the help of very resourceful friends. While there are small urban farms attached to markets and new little veggie stands  every few blocks they are selling a very limited array of underripe fruit and veg. You can’t even find what we would call bread there. Bread is government grade, mass produced with very low quality flour into something that resembles a fat baguette that is rock hard on the outside, almost mushy on the inside and so crumbly that the crust is dust by the time you get it to your mouth. It makes us sad for Cubans who have come to think of this as bread. But we get it-60 years of revolution is complicated and at least everyone has something to eat which is a lot more than can be said for most other wealthy countries of the world. It just feels like something has been lost there in the food and delicious departments and we met THE guy who wants to change that.

On our last trip to Havana we met a really great chef and new friend. Alberto Gonzales. It makes your entire trip when you meet someone who has a similar spanglish food vernacular as you do and does their darnedest to push beyond what is considered popular “cuban cuisine” with very limited resources. Alberto has spent years on and off cooking in various parts of Italy, including a stage at El Bulli in Spain and has come back to Havana to open an artisinal bakery. Which reeeeally isn’t allowed because the government controls bread production on the island. Which is why its called “sausage pizza”…It’s complicated. Despite having very different styles and methods, Alberto and Grant spent a day and a few nights in the kitchen making and chatting about bread and life. We cooked and ate several meals together and we look forward to visiting on future trips. Thank you Alberto for your incredible resilience and hospitality. We can’t wait to visit you and your inspiring bakery again.

If you find yourself in Havana, be sure to drop by Salchipizza bakery for some bread you won’t be finding anywhere else on the island. You can also pre-arrange dinners with chef Alberto. Do it. You will not be disappointed.

Salchipizza – 562 Calle Infanta btwn Valle and Zapata.

Here is a link to a more in depth interview by Yoani Sanchez:

http://translatingcuba.com/you-have-to-eat-a-bread-that-has-dignity-14ymedio-yoani-sanchez/

 

Merry Christmas!

We’ve closed the shop, brought home the starter, done some visiting, put Xavi to bed, wrapped the gifts, had a (few) drink(s), reflected some and are feeling pretty blessed this Xmas eve. We are missing family in B.C. and Winnipeg but feeling so warmed and fuzzed by our new friends and family at the bakery.

We are blown away at the neighbourhood & business community support we have received the last few months at our new location. We feel so blessed to be part of such a supportive and good food loving community. We are also feeling some serious staff love towards the people who do all the things everyday to make our place the best that it can be. Bread baking, bread mixing, coffee making, sandwich/snack making and shelf stocking. We couldn’t be happier with our team and really want to share more with you in the new year about who these amazingly talented and interesting people are. Stay tuned.

Tonight we want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. We hope you are with family and or friends and enjoying the best this season has to offer. Love, hope and Peace. We’ll see you back on the 28th of December.

All the best from our family to yours -Prairie Boy fam xo

Holiday Cheer

IMG_6518IMG_6519IMG_6377brilynnnHappy December Everyone. On one hand it is usually a crazy busy month for most of us, but it is also that special time of year where we get to spend some quality time with our friends, family and a bunch of delicious food.

We would like to take some of the delicious food pressure off you for those cherished December gatherings. We have a wonderful assortment of breads, croustini, cheeses, house made spreads (hummus, pestos, butters, Scout Canning shashouka, cured steelhead trout, creton, baked brie with herbs,etc), olive oil, balsamic reduction, cookies and more. We would be happy to throw together everything you need for your holiday get togethers no matter how big or small your event. Please let us know how we can help.

We have a new co-conspirator, Charlotte Langley aka Scout Canning in the house. She will be sharing our work space and her yummy cans of goodness will be available in the fridge starting tomorrow.

Here is her menu available to Prairie Boy Customers as of tomorrow.

-SHAKSHOUKA-
ROASTED PEPPERS AND TOMATOES MELTED IN OLIVE OIL. SMOKED PAPRIKA AND SWEET ONIONS AS WELL. VEGETARIAN
-CRETON-
FRENCH CANADIAN PORK SPREAD. CONTAINS DAIRY AND WARMING SPICES.
-CURED STEELHEAD TROUT-
SWEET AND SALTY WITH A TOUCH OF CITRUS.
CURED FOR 24 HOURS AND SOAKED IN OLIVE OIL.
-BAKED BRIE-
ONTARIO BRIE MARINATED IN ROASTED GARLIC, HERBS AND LEMON.
PLACE IN A 350 DEGREE OVEN FOR 10 MINUTES AND YOU ARE THE LIFE OF THE PARTY. DIP A FRESH PRAIRIE BOY BAGUETTE FOR ULTIMATE PLEASURE.

 

Lastly, we will be having a holiday neighbourhood shopping & sharing night with some really talented local makers of cool stuff for that discerning person on your gift list or maybe a well deserved treat for yourself.

Pop in for a visit: DECEMBER 22 7-10pm

Stay cool and keep warm,

Prairie Boy