Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We really mean it this time...

Hello??? Are you out there? Is this microphone working? This is the VERY LAST CHANCE to order your holiday cookies from Cakes for Cause. Wednesday is too late for delicious sugar cookie and gingerbread cookies that come to you frozen and in 15 short minutes become the template for the artistic geniuses in your house. Here's the details:

Each box contains 30 cookies and costs $18, frosting mix is $6 and will be available at the drop off sites.

Tuesday November 25th: YOUR LAST CHANCE TO ORDER. We are not responsible for disappointed kiddies, officemates, or the neighborhood cookie exchange.

We will be contacting everyone who has reserved cookies in the week following Thanksgiving to confirm your order and arrange your pickup and payment details.

Wednesday, December 3rd: If you'd like to practice decorating, Cakes for Cause will be having a house party. E-mail us for details.

Pickup Dates:
Thursday, December 11th 10:00-2:00, Cultural Arts Center (downtown) OR
Saturday, December 13th 11:00-1:00, Dutch Plant Farm (Baughman's Lane) OR
Wednesday, December 17th 10:00-2:00, Cultural Arts Center (downtown) OR
Saturday, December 20th (this is pushing it people!) 10:00-2:00, Dutch Plant Farm (Baughman's Lane)

But, really we're pretty flexible and if you absolutely cannot get to any of these locations, we'll make arrangements with you to get your cookies.

That's it, easy as cookies (as we like to say in the pastry business).

We missed some thank yous...
Of course, last week we forgot to mention some people in our email (our parents for one, and Dad is still upset about it) so here we go again:

Many thanks to the people who helped us this summer at the Farmer's Market, it wouldn't have been possible without you. Amanda, Mike, Mike, and Mike, Annie, Chris, and Chris, Jen, Rachele, Jeanine, Annie, Patty, Barbara, Truby, Jennifer and Jennifer, Shannon, Kluane, Natalie, Marcia, Amy, Hannah, Michelle, Julie, Lynda, Kara, Cat, Sarah, Sarah, and Sara, Kathaleen, Keri Ann, Ann Marie, Harriet, Kelly, Lauren and Lauren, Madeline, Victoria, Kate, Mary Ann, Cara, Steve, Stacy, Pam, Kevin, Vicki, Melissa, and to our two amazing farmer's market committee chairs Jen and Yeon......aaand to the people we forgot last week, Kermit and Gaye, Ron and Rhonda, and to our shortbread and t-shirt marketing king Rick. We truly hope we didn't miss anyone this time.

Cakes for Cause


Sob, does it have to end???

-- The last Farmer's Market was on on Nov 22.--
Yes folks, this is it...the end of the 2008 Frederick Farmer's Market on Baughman's Lane. Another season of tomato fights and corn husk surfing has come to a close. But you were part of it this year with Cakes for Cause and for that we are so grateful. To the gentleman who dropped his cookie on the ground and insisted on eating it because, "it's too good to waste", to the many other customers who have supported us and our mission, and to our army of volunteers who braved rain, humidity and wind: Amanda, Mike, Mike, and Mike, Annie, Chris, and Chris, Jen, Rachele, Jeanine, Annie, Patty, Barbara, Truby, Jennifer and Jennifer, Shannon, Kluane, Natalie, Marcia, Amy, Hannah, Michelle, Julie, Lynda, Kara, Cat, Sarah, Sarah, and Sara, Kathaleen, Keri Ann, Ann Marie, Harriet, Kelly, Lauren and Lauren, Madeline, Victoria, Kate, Mary Ann, Cara, Steve, Stacy, Pam, Kevin, Vicki, Melissa, and to our two amazing farmer's market committee chairs Jen and Yeon. I hope we didn't miss anyone and THANK YOU. We'll be back next summer. P.S. no farmers were harmed during the tomato fights!

Wait...don't power down your email yet! There's still this week and we have a pantry full of ingredients to use up. So prepare yourselves for more cookies, more pastries, more cakes than ever before! Hot chocolate? We've got it! Crackers? Bags and bags! Our elves will be busy this week so that you can stock up. But, what's that? You can order from us in the off season...really? Although we don't open our retail space until next spring, you can still order great Cakes for Cause products throughout the holidays and the loooooong cold days of winter. Just give us a couple of days notice and we'll craft something special for your next big event, or just your next family breakfast.

Cookie Alert
THIS IS THE LAST WEEK to order holiday cookies (THIS IS THE LAST WEEK)...holiday gingerbread and sugar cookies that you pop into the oven and bake (THIS IS THE LAST WEEK). We will be rolling cookies on December 10th and delivering them in the Frederick area starting on the 11th. If you have already placed an order (THIS IS THE LAST WEEK), we will be contacting you the week after Thanksgiving to arrange payment and confirm your delivery and make sure you don't need anything else. The drop-dead date for ordering is Tuesday November 25th and if you miss us at the Market on Saturday, you can send an email to info@cakesforcause.org to order. And then people, we must insist that everyone enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey before even thinking about cookies! THIS IS THE LAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!

Swag Alert
We will have our long sleeve and thermal t-shirts at the Market this week as well. If you'd like us to hold a size for you, we're more than happy to do so. This is the shirt that all the fashionistas are wearing this season and we have them in limited quantities. Accept no substitutions!

Cakes for Cause


Support for Cakes for Cause from Frederick Foodie

Our friend Elin gets a mention in the Frederick Foodie Blog here. Quote of the day "Elin Ross is the ethusiastic and dynamic head of the organization and I swear, girlfriend works so hard that she sweats butter and eggs."


Thursday, November 20, 2008

New email from Rohrer's Meats: turkey time

Greetings from the farm. This coming Saturday will be the last full market day for the season. While it may be cold, I think it will at least be dry. Be sure to come in and stock up from your favorite vendors.

My beef offering will include ribeye, strip, sirloin, porterhouse, flank, and skirt steaks; eye round, boneless chuck, and sirloin tip roasts; stew cubes, and ground round. Lamb will include loin, arm, and rib chops; racks, boneless shoulders, butterflied leg, stew meat, kabob cubes, and ground lamb. Pork will include tenderloin, pork chops; spare, country style, and baby back ribs; boneless butts, smoked ham steaks, country slices, and bacon. Maple and country sausage will be fresh while hot Italian, mild Italian, applewurst, and bratwurst will be frozen. I will also have chickens, eggs, and jellies.

There is still time to order your turkey or baked goods for pickup Wednesday at the Dutch Plant Farm. The turkeys I sell are grown and processed by Maple Lawn Farm in Howard County. Several years ago the Washington Post did a taste test of turkeys
available locally and the Maple Lawn bird was the easy winner. I am offering the turkeys at $2.50 per pound. If you need a turkey, it must be order by Sunday night.

Customers might be stocking up Saturday and supply could run short so please order ahead if possible. I need to have your orders by 9 AM Friday. If you did not get a copy of my winter schedule last week, be sure to ask for one. Also, don't forget that I'll be at Dutch Plant Farm on Wednesday, November 26, for you to get you holiday orders. Wednesday hours will be 10 AM until 12:30 PM. Stay warm and I will see you at the market.


Rohrer's Meats



Friday, November 14, 2008

Greetings From Bali...

Mr. and Mrs. S.Cookie and friends are making their way here for the holidays but they had a brief stop in Bali for some fun in the sun...are those sharks?

There's two more weeks to order delicious sugar or gingerbread cookies from Cakes for Cause for your holidays. 2 ½ dozen per box and all you do is slide them into the oven and decorate them...how easy could that be? For those of you who like your cookies already decorated, we may have some for sale at our last market and we have really creative decorators so they will definitely be unique. We will be delivering at two locations in Frederick starting on December 11th and we will start contacting everyone who has already placed an order in the first week of December to make sure we have your count right and fill you in on the details.

It's hard to believe that the market is coming to an end for the year but there's just this week and next to stop by the Cakes for Cause booth and pick up freshly baked scones, croissants, and cookies. We have been selling hot cocoa, hot coffee and hot cider for the past several weeks and it's really nice to wrap your hands around a warm cup while you stroll the market. Don't forget that you can still special order from Cakes for Cause once the market closes. Although we don't yet have our storefront, with a little notice you can have fresh baked goods between now and the springtime. How about treating your officemates for the holidays...we bet they'd enjoy a specialty cookie tray or a breakfast basket on a Monday morning and it would ensure your "employee of the month" status!

Swag is Available!
Still don't know what to get Uncle Albert for the holiday gift exchange? Don't know what you'll bring your Secret Santa draw at work? A Cakes for Cause t-shirt or hoodie makes a perfect gift for everyone. We have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from. Our newest model is a long-sleeved thermal or traditional t-shirt in black but we still have a limited number of our "classic" design for sale as well. Remember, if you have purchased from us in the past, your next t-shirt is $2 off so really, we're thinking of you this holiday season.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Order your meats for Thanksgiving from Rohrer's

Greetings from the farm. With Thanksgiving only 15 days away, it is time to order your holiday bird, ham, and dessert. Orders can be picked up at the last Frederick market of the year on Saturday November 22. If you prefer fresher product, I will be making a delivery at the Dutch Plant Farm on Baughmans Lane Wednesday November 26. Wednesday hours will be 10 AM until 12:30 PM. I will be selling locally raised and processed turkeys from Maple Lawn Farm. Turkey size can be from 12 to 40 pounds and the price is $2.50 per pound. If you prefer only white meat, breasts will be priced at $4.00 per pound. For dark meat lovers, the part remaining after removal of the breast is available at $1.25 per pound. I also have hams, country cured, smoked, or fresh. My sisters will be making on order pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, and tea breads. For those of you interested in capons, I should have an answer Friday if any will be available.

For the market this Saturday lamb cuts will include butterflied leg, boneless shoulder, racks, ground lamb, and leg, loin, rib, arm, and sirloin chops. Pork will include tenderloin, pork chops, boneless shoulder roast, bacon, smoked ham steaks, and spare, country style, and baby back ribs. Sausage flavors will be country, sage, hot Italian, mild Italian, applewurst, bratwurst, and maple. Beef will include ribeye, strip, porterhouse, sirloin, flank, and skirt steaks; boneless chuck, eye round, sirloin tip roasts; stew cubes, and ground beef. I also have some frozen veal left. Cuts are rib chops, sirloin chops, arm roast, stew cubes, and ground veal. Eggs will also be available.

I also had chickens processed this week. There will be broilers available as well as stewing birds. The "stewing" birds are young males of a laying breed. They are not as meaty as the broilers but are excellent for soup, stock, or chicken salad. This would be the type of chicken our ancestors ate a few generations back. Another good use for these birds would be for authentic coq au vin. Several years ago I had a group of this type of chicken and customers said it was perfect for that dish.

I need your help. I have a supply of pork chops, spare and country style ribs, lamb rib, arm, and sirloin chops, and veal in my freezer. I need to move this product before winter and at the same time put together a down payment for a new market truck. I will be offering these frozen meats at a 10 per cent discount this Saturday. Supply is limited so you might want to preorder to be sure of getting what you need.

Also, please get you Thanksgiving orders in soon. Be sure to let me know which day you will be picking up. Be well, and I will see you at the market.

Rohrer's Meats


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New mail from Farmer Rick

This is the email that Farmer Rick Hood from Summer Creek Farm sends out to his CSA members:

Hi all, winter is close to setting in. This is the time of year I look at the past year and plan for the next year. This year had it's success and it's disappointments. We grew more produce than ever and had better farmers market sales than ever. On the flip side our costs have risen significantly. Some crops did very well and some suffered too. I am planning next year to address the issues that cropped up this year and by trying to increase our production to supply variety and value.

On the cost side this year everyone talks about fuel but we have seen cost increases in many areas. Take paper lunch bags, from July to August we saw a 30% increase in paper bags. We saw a 16% increase in boxes. This was definitely energy related. Paper consumes huge amounts of water and energy to be made. Interestingly enough we saw no similar increase in plastic bags. Currently we are buying seeds for next year. The costs increases are unbelievable. The floods in the Midwest have driven seed costs way up. Last year we purchased soybean seed for $35.00 per bag (3 years ago it was $28.00), this years cost is $49.00 per bag. Even simple non exotic crops like squash have seen a 30% increase in seed prices. Organic Fertilizers are way up too. We are trying to purchase earlier this year while the economy is cooled. Looking into the crystal ball I expect the world economy to grow, especially China and India even if our economy stalls. China has already talked about a stimulus package and unlike the US they can afford it. The emerging countries have a huge hunger for food. Once they reestablish growth in there economies they will once again become major food importers, driving world prices up. China is already the largest pork producer in the world and is still importing US Pork. This will drive world grain prices too.

Additionally I recently read an article about water shortages in California. A major issue looming in the west is the lack of water and growing cities. Farmers and city officials both need water. The cities of Los Angles, Phoenix and Las Vegas are growing. Much of the vegetables in your local store come from these areas and they are grown under irrigation. As water gets tight the farmer will not win this battle with the growing cities. Currently farmers are being told they will get 30% of their normal allocation next year. Unless winter snows change the availability of water many California farmers will plant less than next year. Less production equals higher store costs. All the more reason to support your local growers. We appreciate that support!

Enough with all that is challenging. We have much to look forward to next year. We have planned our CSA for next year. We will be offering pickups at the Farm, Urbana (new location on Singleton Terrace, close to the old one), in Frederick at Dr. Laura's and at the Saturday Farmers Market in Frederick. The Urbana CSA will also move to Wed pick up with a change in time to 4:30.

Our web site is updated with the new form. We are keeping the price the same as last year, $450.00. To all our old customers we are offering to hold your spot in the CSA with a $100.00 deposit, the balance due on March 1. Existing customers are getting CSA notice first to sign up. We have had a lot of interest since the article last summer in Frederick Magazine so we wanted to make sure you all got a chance to sign up first. New customers will be asked to pay in full at start up. You certainly can pay the full cost from the start if you desire. We do use these funds to procure supplies and get ready for next year. I am sorry but we will not be offering egg shares in the next year but, we will still offer discounts on bulk produce and rain barrels to CSA customers. Their will be a limited number of shares this year so let me know if you are interested as soon as possible.

Next year we will also offer our produce again at the Frederick Farmers Market on Saturday and Clarksburg Market on Sunday. I will also keep you notified of various activities we will be doing over the winter months. We do offer gardening courses and talks in the area. I will update that schedule soon.

We have wheat grain ready for all of you that would like to grind your own flour. I also have firewood available in late December. Delivery will be available. Just let me know the quantity you may be interested in. It is mixed dry hardwoods.

I hope your winter goes well. I look forward to growing more good food for you next season. Thanks again for your support!

Farmer Rick


Monday, November 10, 2008

Mmmmm ... Meat

First, I apologize to my veggie friends, but those that know me understand my penchant for the beasties from our local farmers here in Frederick County, MD. This post is dedicated to those hardworking men and women who deem it necessary to take care of our chattle for our consumption.

To those beasts who have not burdened and are about to die so that I shall live, I salute you.

Danny Rohrer is a farmer whose crop is the animal. In his honor I present a preparation of a rack of goat. The goat is such a useful creature, especially to those in more arid climates. It lives on scraps in poorer countries and yet it can still sustain life for the farmer and his family. The goat has taste characteristics normally toward the more gamier fare. However, the meat that came from the Rohrer farm was as delectable as any I have ever tasted.

In order to prepare this small (1.25lb) but delicious looking rack, I chose to dry rub in sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Oh, by the way, the herbs are from our own garden (organic, of course) and all other supplies are from the Frederick Farmer's Market.

But before I did that, I needed to dress it up a bit. The French are quite particular as to how the meal looks, this is no different for a simple rack. Dressing it a la francais means to trim cleanly the tips of the rib. Additionally, in order to create the appearance of a clean bone practically jumping out of the rack after it's cooked, one must split the fascia next to the bone on the "bone" side of the rack. Notice how it looks after it is cooked to get an idea of final presentation.

This "table" presentation means the guests can just pick up the rib of their choice.

The cooking of the rack was simple. Start the charcoals in a chimney starter. We want NONE of that nasty starter fluid taste. Set coals to one side of grill, put grill on, scrape grill after 5 minutes (it's easier when it's hot). Since the coals are probably still pretty blazin', you'll put the potatoes on first.

My potatoes involve thickly sliced and quartered laying in a foil "packet" with Montreal chicken season (1/2 tsp) and a small sprig of rosemary. Over the hot coals the butter melts, nearly frying the potato quarters while the seasoning chars slightly to a mild salty crispiness. You know they are done when you can actually HEAR the frying of the potato over the coals. Move them to the side (after about 15 minutes).

Set the rack meat side down with 2 foil pie plates over it. Since this was a small rack the first side took only 7 minutes while the bone side took less than 5 minutes. This will leave you with a medium rare (more rare, but not blue) portion of meat which gives you the true essence of the meat, which practically melts in your mouth. This is due in no small part to the quality, freshness, and care of Danny's product. Let the meat set for 10 minutes (as it will let the juices settle back to the cool part (the middle), slice between the bone, press together and give the table presentation as above.

And now a word from our sponsor - The Health Advocate (Me) - Why naturally raised meats are better:

1. They TASTE better
2. They have more nutritive value because the animal was not fending off a chemical onslaught and over crowded conditions
3. Because they're DEEEEELICIOUS!

Did I mention they taste better...oh yea... well you get the idea, there's a reason it tastes better.

In the end, we save on transportation cost, support local farmers and thus the local economy, and most important make friends that we can count on.

Here are some more photos for the shutterbugs out there. Enjoy.



Friday, November 7, 2008

The Holidays are Coming, the Holidays are Coming...

Yes, it's true. You can't deny it any longer. Thanksgiving comes in just three (3!) short weeks and then fast after that comes the holiday season and whatever tradition you and your family celebrate. It's time to light the logs in the fireplace, pull out the Yatzhee (how the heck do you spell that?) set and hunker down with the family for some fun times. Cakes for Cause can make your holiday celebrations stress free for the baking. How about a dozen scones and croissants in a breakfast basket with jam and butter? Pop them into the oven for 10 minutes and breakfast is ready...just add coffee and juice. Want biscuits and rolls like Grandma used to make before she moved to the Bahamas with that biker guy? (Sorry, that's our family!-) Cakes for Cause can hook you up with breads for your holiday dinner.

And don't forget the cookies!
We have lots and lots of cookies! Did you get a chance to try our cornmeal apricot biscuit last week? It was delicious with stone ground cornmeal for texture, a slightly sweet shortbread biscuit for flavor and organic apricot preserves to top it off. Our cookie packages are perfect for those parties where you want to give the hostess a little extra thank you. Our cookie trays are perfect for the girl's night or family night when everyone gets together to wrap presents and decorate the tree. Our frozen cookie gingerbread peeps are fun to bake and decorate with the kids. Whatever your cookie needs, we can help. Let us know what you're thinking at the market or by email.

And as promised, today is the start of our cookie couple journey. Here's a few little pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Sugarcookie as they make their way back to Frederick for the holidays.

Sugarcookies fresh from cryogenic storage

SOME Sugarcookies do NOT use sunscreen!

Mr. and Mrs. Sugarcookie readying themselves for the holidays

Shout Out for Women Chefs!
We're excited to have been invited to participate in the Calendar Girls launch event by the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Association. Cakes for Cause will be presenting one of our signature treats on Sunday evening. We're planning to take something called a "velvet bar" and if we get it together enough, we might bring some to the Farmer's Market this week too. If you're interested in more information about the WCR event or the calendar highlighting great women chefs and their recipes, hit this link:

At the Farmer's Market this week:
The last three weeks are going to be filled with new treats from Cakes for Cause at the Farmer's Market (Baughman's Lane 10:00 am-1:00 pm). We're going to be experimenting with some new cookies and scone flavors each week. If you didn't try our focaccia last week, make sure to pick up a loaf this week because it's an even better formula than our original style...truly chewy and with a well-developed flavor from a three-day rise cycle. We'll have some tarts as well-small and large. Our citron tart is a refreshing lemon curd in a sugar shortbread crust and there's a chocolate tart that's melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And for those of you who do not want to decorate your own cookies, we may bring some already-decorated ones to our last market on the 22nd.

Swag, swag, swag...
Don't forget that Cakes for Cause swag makes a great stocking stuffer (everyone in our family is getting some for the holidays, and birthdays, and Valentine's Day, and...). Our new long sleeve thermals and traditional cut t-shirts are in. Send us a picture of yourself wearing one from wherever you are and we'll put them on our website! There's still time to pre-order hoodies as perfect layering pieces for your ski vacation. Remember, if you bring the t-shirt you've already purchased to the market, we'll knock $2 off the price of our new shirt as a thank you.