I just want to take a moment to thank you guys. Thanks for hanging in with me here while I've been so absent lately. This whole Gluten Free Baking business thing has been kicking my butt. Who knew that baking would be such hard work? I have yet to figure out how to make my supply meet the demand, but at least I'm starting to feel like I have a routine of sorts, so that's good. Though its only Sunday night and I already see next weekend swooping down towards me. I'm trying to do more prep earlier in the week so I don't get so overwhelmed at the last minute. Anyhow, I'm just generally tired and a little sore, but still making a go of it. Did I mention I got a second stove? The one we had in our apartment in Montreal has been kicking around it storage (for those of you not from Montreal, I should explain that very few apartments in Mtl come with appliances, so you have to buy your own and move them around with you. Therefore, when we relocated from la belle province to Ontari-ari-ari-o we now have an 'extra' one) which over the course of the week we got cleaned up and installed (or rather my mom cleaned it up, bless her, and my dad and Hubs and my uncle scratched their heads and tinkered about for a few days and finally got it working. Yay!) But of course, despite the fact that my kitchen is comfortable roomy, it is not huge, so we could not fit the stove up here. So we installed it in the basement in the laundry room. And now I'm basically doing something I call "The Home Bakery Workout". You see, a batch of cookies needs ten minutes to bake. But since you put one sheet of cookies on the top shelf and one on the bottom shelf, you need to rotate them half way through the baking time so you don't have the ones on the bottom getting too crispy while the ones on the top are overdone. So since I've got two ovens going (which is awesome, because you can do twice as many cookies) I have to stagger the two batches, so that I can run up and down the stairs EVERY FIVE MINUTES. And don't get all smart and suggest I just stay downstairs, becauser remember, there is another batch of cookies in the over upstairs. See how that works. Anyhow, cookie baking day is Thursday, and I felt ok and Friday (bread baking day) because I was too busy to think about anything else and likewise was fine on Saturday because it was Market Day (busy! customers! making change! math! adrenaline!) but today! Hoo boy! Today my legs are KILLING ME! Its like I did an all day Step class. (remember step aerobics? So nineties) Anyhow, if I manage to keep this up all Summer (without dropping dead either from the stress or the exhaustion) I am going to have the ass of a 21 year old.
Oh, and also, this week was my first market week without the never ending support of my Mom and Dad. Because usually on Market day my Dad meets me at the Market (or should I say "beats me to the Market. Early birds. Sheesh) to help me set up my booth and table because he has a truck and I do not. Also he is very good with knots and such and common sense problem solving type things. And he likes to get up early and hang out and chat with the Farmers. So really, its a win/win for him. And my Mom of course, is busy being an amazing Grandma, driving over to my house at 8:30 in the morning, getting my kids dressed, packing them a bag and snacks and such and bringing them to the market later in the morning so they can hang out with me for an hour or so, and then taking them back to her house for lunch, and an ATV ride with Grandpa and other sundry fun times, and after it is all over, dropping them back off at my place so I can put them down for nap time/quiet time so that I can have nap time too. Basically, they both have facilitated this whole Farmer's Market experience for me SO MUCH. I don't know how I would do it without them.
Which brings me to this week, when I had to do it without them. Because they've gone camping. Which is only fair, as they need a break from me and my kids.
Anyhow, this week I did it all by myself. And by all by myself, I mean that my kind Uncle John got up at the crack of dawn to drive over to my Parent's house and load my table/tent/weights/signage onto his truck and then follow me down to the market to help me set up. So, SO kind of him. He is also good with knots. Then Hubs arranged to go to work an hour later than usual, by working overtime earlier in the week. Then he woke, fed, brushed and dressed the Littles and brought them to the Market. Where we were met by Laura, a lovely teenager from our church, who spent the morning keeping track of my boys as they played and ran around the market and ate the sweet little lunches that Hubs had packed for them. They had a fantastic time with her, and juuust as they were starting to get bored, The Little Dude's school friend Michael and his mom Patti showed up to hang out with and encourage us. L.D. was thrilled to have the impromptu play date, and the Baby is in love with Patti, so he was very happy to see them both. And Patti kept me awake during the slow last hour of the market morning, and also encouraged me to eat lunch, which I often forget to do on Market day. So really, there is no such thing as 'doing it alone'. It takes a village, right? And I am so grateful for the kindness and support all around me. Community.
Oh, and as I mentioned before the weekend, the Little Dude has his first experience with trying to make money this weekend.
He managed to cut out and decorate thirteen whole cookies (before he got 'tired' as he put it, or rather, 'got bored' as I would put it) and we broke one of them in transit, but managed to sell eleven of them at the market (and had one left over to eat, much to his delight). I sell cookies for 75 cents each, and about one third of that is raw materials cost, so I told him he could keep 50 cents per cookie sold. So at the end of the day, he made himself a whopping five dollars and fifty cents. He was pretty pleased about that, and wanted to go right out and buy some Lego with it. But we went online to look at Lego kits for a minute, and he was reminded of the fact that the one he wanted most of all actually costs about eighty dollars, so he decided to put his money in his WienerMobile bank and save it, and sell cookies again next week and hopefully make some more money. I'm hoping (in my dull parenting type way) that this will be a good way for him to learn about money etc. More on this at a later date when I'm not so tired.