Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary Freddy and Nesiya!

I got a visit today at the cake shop from a bride from last fall, Nesiya. She, her mom, and her nephews came in for cupcakes and to order a birthday cake for her grandmother. We got to catch up on life since her October wedding last year, and then she sent me some wedding cake pictures that I hadn't yet seen (like the one above). it was so great to see Nesiya, and it made me think about all the brides and families that supported me in the early days before the cake shop- when I was baking cakes at home in my tiny kitchen with Jasper underfoot. Freddy and Nesiya were so wonderful to work with- Nesiya loves butterflies, so we did a butterfly motif on her cake- and hers is one of the rare square cakes that I have done- a little bit more of a challenge (those corners take time!) Happy Anniversary to Nesiya and Freddy, and thank you to all the Asheville Mamas, Brides, and friends that took a chance on me. Much Love.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bountiful Cities Project Urban Harvest Dinner!

On Friday September 25, 2009, The Bountiful Cities Project, Asheville’s Urban Agriculture and Food Security organization, will host the first of a series of “BCP’s Urban Harvest Dinners,” at the Pearson Drive Community Garden in Montford. The dinners are elegant, on-garden evenings to raise funds for BCP’s ongoing outreach and education programs in many community gardens and urban farms throughout the city of Asheville.

BCP’s September 25th Urban Harvest Dinner features a line-up of top-notch local businesses donating their time, talents and resources; including Shay Brown Events, Artisan Catering, Chef Mo, Short Street Cakes, Mountain Foods & the Fresh Quarter, East Coast Entertainment, the Wine Guy, Naomi Johnson Photography, and many others. The menu will feature ingredients grown at Bountiful Cities Gardens throughout Asheville, as well as other local food from other sources. There will be a cocktail hour with a demonstration on using the community wood-fired bread oven to bake fresh foccacia appetizers; salads, sides and fantastic entrĂ©es prepared by Chefs Mauricio and Mo; local sweet potato cupcakes from Short Street Cakes for dessert; and ample opportunities to learn about BCP’s work in the movement towards true food security for everyone in Asheville, as well as opportunities to get involved! Tickets are $60 each and are available for online purchase at Tickets are limited.

What is food security? It is the right we all have to clean, healthy, accessible, affordable food. BCP thinks the best way to ensure true food security is to make our food systems more sustainable by growing food in the city. The Bountiful Cities Project has been working “on the ground” to connect communities to their food in Asheville’s diverse neighborhoods for almost a decade. Committed to urban agriculture, BCP has transformed urban land into community food production spaces, helped communities such as Montford, Stephens-Lee, Shiloh, Burton Street, Joyner Ave, Vance Elementary, Hall Fletcher Elementary, and Pisgah View develop their own community gardens and has contributed resources and programming to education regarding food security. BCP’s demonstration gardens- the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park in the Stephens-Lee Community, and the Pearson Drive Community Garden in Montford- continue to be the flagship gardens of the organization’s work. To learn more go to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Athens, GA: Potlikker and Coffee (and whiskey, too)

On Saturday, I headed out of town and down south to my beloved former home of Athens, GA, to attend the Southern Foodways Alliance's Potlikker Film Festival.

Held at Cine, it was a showcase of four short films about Southern Food: "The Rise of Southern Cheese," (about artisan cheesemaking in Alabama) "Cud: The Story of Will Harris and White Oak Pastures," (a story of a Georgia man and his livestock), and "Hot Chicken," (a freaking hilarious profile of Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville) all by Joe York; and T. G. Herrington's "Mr. Okra," about a produce seller in New Orleans. All were beautiful, and familiar, and loving stories about the food culture of this place we call the American South.
And then there was the whiskey.
I drank alot of it. And finally got up the gumption to introduce myself to (and present the Aunt Tissy's Italian Cream Cake that I had brought especially for) the food writer (and director of the SFA) whom I admire: John T. Edge.
Oh, and then there was the food:
Potlikker shots from Wilsons Soul Food (mmmm.... Wilsons, how I miss thee!) and Taqueria Del Sol, and sampler bites (like meatloaf, and yummy stuffed peppers, and sweet potato casserole) from Farm 255, Weaver D's, the National, and Five and Ten.
Luckily, My Best Girl Lexi, fresh from Chicago, appeared miraculously to take me away before I had enough time to act a fool (at least at that venue, and the rest of the night is none of your beeswax). but I do have to say, after attending my first SFA event, I'm impressed and I'm excited about this organization and the work they are doing to celebrate and document Southern food culture.

Soooo.... on Sunday, after nursing my hangover, I moseyed over to the
1000faces Coffee office/roasting facility on Barber Street in Athens to meet up with the man who roasts Short Street Cakes' coffee to order: Ben Myers.

I was grateful to get a chance to get to know a little more about this feisty coffee roasting company that provides the cake shop with our El Injerto single-origin, direct-trade coffee that we happily serve to our customers.
Apparently, alot of thinking goes on here:

Alot of thinking about coffee, and economy, and agriculture, and love, and artisan coffee roasting. And this means for you: beautiful coffee, fresh roasted, fresh ground, and fresh french press brewed for you at the Cake Shop. We love it when you come in to hang out, play records, eat cupcakes, and drink coffee with us. And we thank Ben (and the farmers and workers who produce our coffee) and SFA (who share our love of our Southern food traditions) for the inspiration to continue to create a loving space for the creative process of celebration through food.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August Newsletter from Short Street Cakes!

Click here to view the lastest newsletter from Short Street Cakes as a webpage. In it, you will find valuable information (for example, the Best of WNC reader's poll closes today), read news about the newly re-opened, new and improved Cake Shop (for example, our new hours are now Noon to 6pm), and find a back-to-school cake special!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Short Street Cakes Short- and a reminder about our Summer Break!

Here's a link to a short film/commercial that my friend Jennifer Formwalt made about the cake shop! Yay! Click here to watch the video.
Also, just a reminder that we will be closed for a week for summer break, staff retreat, and a kitchen expansion. Closing tommorrow, and re-opening Wednesday, August 12.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Last Post (I swear!) from New Orleans

On my way out of town, Elyse took me to Angelo Brocato for gelato. Here we were greeted by the freakin' cutest espresso lady ever:

And the prettiest bakery case ever:

From their website:
"A century ago, 12-year-old Angelo Brocato began an apprenticeship in one of Palermo, Italy's elegant ice cream parlors where he learned the special recipes for the world's finest desserts. It was the beginning of a saga that would eventually take him to America and the realization of a dream - the establishment of his own ice cream parlor.
As a young immigrant in a new land, Angelo worked for a short while on a sugar plantation, saving his money until he could open a tiny ice cream shop in New Orleans's French Quarter. Still not satisfied, Angelo worked even harder and, in 1905, opened Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream Parlor, a replica of Palermo's finest emporiums and one of the city's first sit-down parlors.... The present-day Brocato family, the third generation to run the business, are proud to carry on this New Orleans tradition as they begin the second century of Angelo Brocato's dream."

To which I say: Damn, that was some yummy Watermelon Gelato.

Angelo Brocato Ice Cream & Confectionery, Inc.
214 N. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119

And on the telephone pole opposite the entrance to Brocato's someone had posted this this sign:

And it is true. Thank you, New Orleans.