Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Candied ginger spices up Fall

Well friends, the fall season is upon us and we've begun working on seasonal pies that complement the explosion of Fall flavors and colors as well as the brisk change in the weather. After much brainstorming over the past few weeks we settled on Apple-Ginger pie.
Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples from Pike Place Market
Of course one of our goals at Yippie-Pie-Yay is to support our local business owners as much as possible, so I headed to Pike Place Market in search of the key components for this recipe: apples and candied ginger. Our regular Apple pie utilizes a single type of apple, but since this is a special offering we thought it would be worth including a seasonal favorite here in the Northwest: honeycrisp apples. Sure, they cost more than any other varietal, but y'all, they are worth it and so are you!

The coveted Honeycrisps and a few Granny Smiths were procured from one of the produce vendors along the main walkway, and the candied ginger came from one of my favorite Market shops: Market Spice. Oh man, does that place smell delicious!


The snap of that sweet and spicy ginger shines through because, let's face it, it's the star player. Though apple pie is not my particular favorite, this Apple-Ginger pie might just change my mind! You have got to try this! With a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, this pie is quite possibly... perfection!

We can't wait for you to try this. Our Fall seasonal menu will be ready November 1!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We're legit, y'all!

Last Tuesday started like any normal day… slowly. Savoring my first cup o' joe, I watched the hilarious and witty cats at Q13 repeat the weather and traffic ad nauseum and distractedly snacked on a flaky and delicious blueberry hand pie - breakfast of champions, yo! That was when the phone rang. After weeks of waiting, the State was finally on the other end of the line!

Of course the State of Washington was not actually reaching out to touch me, but a representative from the Department of Agriculture was. Said representative who I will now refer to not as “my” representative but "Pie" representative was calling to schedule Yippie-Pie-Yay’s kitchen inspection. "Pie" representative informed me that the inspection would be the next day. Yikes and Eeek!

Now, as you might know, we have day jobs. Admittedly my day job hours are afternoon through evening, but still... lots to do and not a lot of time to do it!

Alright, alright! Full disclosure… it was 9:45 a.m., barely morning according to early risers the world over, a group to which I (proudly) do not belong. While the YPY kitchen is always sparkling and in TTPS (Tip Top Pie Shape!), there was a short list of extras that I had planned on completing prior to the inspection which included scheduling the carpet cleaner and figuring out a better storage solution to the huge, heavy, unwieldy case of unassembled bakery boxes currently parked in the middle of my living room floor. Also, there was no time to whip up a batch of hand pies that may or may not be construed as bribes for "Pie" inspector.

Molly's attempt to hide in order to avoid housework
My brain clicked into domestic-superhero speed. As I said before, the YPY kitchen is always in TTPS but would it pass a white glove test? Will there even be a white glove test? Again, yikes and eeek! I figured better safe than sorry. I spent the next few hours furiously vacuuming, scrubbing, wiping, cleaning, and reorganizing.  

Cottage Food ingredients and equipment have to be stored separately, which means dedicating two entire cabinets and one drawer of my teeny tiny kitchen to Yippie-Pie-Yay stuff. Reorganizing took most of the morning. If you're like me, you can never have enough kitchen gadgets and toys, so a pile of pots and pans found itself migrating to my closet, along with a waist-high stack of cookbooks.

Believe me; I am thrilled to be making pies in a legal and honest way, truly! But frankly, my kitchen is small - really small. This means those pots and pans and cookbooks will likely be living in my closet for a while. This portends a problem for my future as a mid-morning riser (unorthodox for a baker, I know) because my husband already knocks over at least one thing in the closet on a daily basis. Now I have substantially increased the obstacles he must face at his ungodly wake-up time of 6 am, and the crash of metal on metal is no way to wake up - or to secure a hit pop song - but that’s beside the point.

Let’s move on to another issue. I have now and always had a rather unhealthy fear of authority. This probably results from a childhood riddled with my half-Sicilian mother's fiery and unpredictable outbursts. Regardless, after years of therapy and martini-spiked family "discussions," people no longer make me nervous, unless they have a badge or a uniform or save us all, both. Then all bets are off. The morning of the inspection, in preparation for my clash with authority, I limited myself to two cups of coffee. No need to be excessively jittery in front of "pie" inspector (the man with the badge and the stamp and whatever else official Department of Ag swag he carried with him.) Still… my coffee deprived, martini-free imagination pictured "pie" inspector passing or failing people with sanctioned capriciousness.

Fortunately, my imagination didn’t get to run wild for long. Exactly on time, "Pie" inspector arrived with a colleague being trained on Cottage Foods inspections. Both "pie" inspector and colleague were incredibly nice, incredibly knowledgeable, and incredibly fast. My hours and hours of prep work paid off! Those guys were in and out the door in about 10 minutes, I kid you not. A short two hours later, (drum-roll please!), Yippie-Pie-Yay received its license via email! The previous 24 hours had given me insane heartburn along with other digestive maladies (worry not, I'll spare you the gory details), but it was worth it. I can't believe that after months of waiting for the DofA to approve our application, the final step happened so quickly.

What does this mean for Yippie-Pie-Yay and for you? We can happily - and legally – share our pies with the world. Well, at least the part of the world that resides in the metropolitan Seattle area. We are super thrilled to have Washington State's 23rd Cottage Food License, and we are preparing now for an official launch! Pie will take over the world if it kills us!