Let Them Eat Cake

Let Me Eat Cake

So my bread machine broke last week. It was 6:30 p.m., and we were back from the usual afternoon flurry of activity. I opened the lid, expecting to find a plump, perfect ball of whole-wheat speckled pizza dough, but discovered instead a heap of unmixed flour and plenty of goo leaking out the bottom of the pan. Bummer. And did I remember later to get a new machine or replacement part? Not until I thought about whipping up some pizza dough for tonight. Sigh.

Fresh pizza dough is one of the few items our bakers don't offer at the Bellevue Farmers Market. And why should they, when Veraci is sliding pie after perfect pie into their clay-and-concrete, wood-fired oven? But Marketgoers can pick up just about everything else: pastries, cookies, loaves of bread, pretzels, fresh pasta, whole dessert pies or by the slice--even gluten-free offerings from Manini's!

Tricolore Egg Pasta in upper right

Speaking of pasta, I decided to use up some of our garden-tomato extravaganza with a Pasta Pomodoro, featuring La Pasta's beautiful Tricolore (Three-Color) Fettucine. Let me just say, a pound of pasta is a lot of pasta. Good thing it tasted just as yummy reheated the next day. Can't wait to try those ravioli in the lower left: mushroom, cheese, garlic, herbs. Dmitri sells sauces to go with, or I might just whip up some Alfredo with--what else--added tomatoes.

And then on Saturday I discovered a new vendor, Let Them Eat Cake of Seattle! Artisan pastry chef Laura Springfield graduated from The French Pastry School in Chicago some years ago and worked thereafter making and decorating cakes. When her husband entered the PhD program in Philosophy at UW, they moved out to Seattle, and Laura started this venture. The Bellevue Farmers Market is her first and only farmers market at this point.

Laura was sampling these cut-out cookies which are almost too beautiful to eat, but my nine-year-old managed with no problems:

If you look carefully at the album behind the cookies, you'll see a Cinderella scene with coach, all done in cake and fondant! Talk about looking too good to eat. No way would I let anyone cut into my creations if the birthday cakes I made my family came out like that. Mine are all about the 9x13 pan, and the only bragging rights are that they don't come from a mix. Just a quick scroll through Laura's website will assure you that you don't want any of your children seeing the pictures, or they will never be content with homemade again.

Too often, beautiful baked goods are not the same thing as yummy baked goods, but, having brought home the Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream-Cheese Filling and Chocolate Ganache, I have to say you don't want to save these treats for the display case. Yum.

Pumpkin is the one not shadowed by the giant reflection of my head.

And if baked goods aren't your thing, Laura also does chocolates. Haven't tried these yet because we must draw the line somewhere, for crying out loud.

The problem is which to try first

I don't just load up on carbs at the Bellevue Farmers Market, however, or at home, when my appliances are operating. I also stalk vendors on the off days in their home territory. Yep, a friend and I hit up the antique shops in Snohomish one morning and then finished with a visit to both the Snohomish Bakery and the Snohomish Pie Company, located across the street from each other. You'll be interested to hear that these are both lovely little eatery/bakeries. The Pie Company has all its pie-baking out front, so you can see racks and racks of their offerings. You can't see into the Bakery's back room, but all the pastries and breads we find at our Market are right there, and they'll even serve up a sandwich on your favorite bread. (I recommend the Meatloaf on Pumpernickel.)

We have just three more Thursdays left this season (Saturday Markets go until Nov 17), so we'll see you this week, I hope. I'll be the one holding the pretzel!