Posts Tagged ‘Annie’s Naturally Bakery’

sandwich after tailgate 1Fresh + ingredients you won’t find in grocery stores. That is the beauty of our tailgate markets. My sandwich ingredients from today’s tailgate market:  ripe purple tomatoes, crispy white cucumbers, and pan-roasted Italian sweet pepper on a bed of sweet basil, and from the grocery store – organic cream cheese, balsamic vinegar, and local artisan bread.

Yes, you can buy basil and purple tomatoes from the grocery store, but are they this fresh and from people who farm in our neighboring counties? People with kids that they are raising. People with land payments. People we know. Will my meager purchases help send their kids to college? Well, no, not exactly. But each little purchase adds up.

I pray that when they count up their money at the end of each market, it is enough to sustain them and their families. Cause these are some hard working folks. Heros. Their food tastes like it came from my home garden. Just look at the color of that tomato. I mean really look. Soak it in. This food brings me to my knees.

I have missed this food during my recent period of busy-ness. I have missed the people too. Manysandwich after tailgate grilled have been so kind to ask about my recently married daughter. Some conversations have made our eyes well up with emotion. Together, all of us have watched these tailgate market children grow and blossom. Suddenly the baby is a seventh grader is a college student is adventuring in Europe is being married or becoming a parent. Again I am on my knees with wonder, and so grateful that I am sailing along on this lovely planet amid this miraculous journey.

Back to sandwiches. This is important – sandwiches taste so much better when they are made on good bread. It is worth the splurge to get good local bread if you are a sandwich-eater. Pan-roast the peppers. Pile the ingredients to the edge of the bread and grill in a skillet with your choice of fat (I used olive oil).

pistachio shortbread sweetheart bakeryPistachio shortbread cookie for desert from Sweetheart bakery.

Purple tomato from Green Toe Ground Farm. White cucumber from Full Sun Farm. Peppers from Gaining Ground Farm. Basil from Mountain Harvest Organics. Bread from Annie’s Naturally Bakery.


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In conjunction with attending the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival at AB Tech, many festival go-ers swung by the old Square D building in West Asheville to see the new wholesale production facility of Annie’s Naturally Bakery’s and to glimpse Carolina Ground’s new mill. Annie Ritota (owner of Annie’s bakery) and her husband Joe are both very genuine people who are full of heart. They love

The Mill, Carolina Ground

their new baking facility and (once they sell their home in Sylva) they plan to move to the Asheville area. Right now they have a very long daily commute. We wish them all the best!

The mill at Carolina Ground is up and running after various electrical snags. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of machinery that was hand-made in Austria. Jennifer Lapidus, director of the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, was busy showing folks around and explaining the workings of the mill. As one of the many Kickstarter donors to the mill project, I came home with a bag of Turkey Wheat Flour…freshly ground by the new mill! I can’t wait to bake some bread with it.

This was followed by a delightful dinner of fabulous food and exuberant conversation.

Jennifer Lapidus in front of various grains waiting to be milled. Grain raised by Kenny Haines in Eastern NC.

Jennifer Lapidus in front of various grains that are waiting to be milled. The grain was raised organically by Kenny Haines in Eastern NC.

Jennifer Explaining How the Mill Works

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Bread lovers alert! Where can you find all the best bakers in the area in one place at one time? The Artisan Bread Festival! The eighth ASHEVILLE ARTISAN BREAD FESTIVAL will be held this Saturday, March 24, 2012. This is your chance to sample and buy breads from area bakers, AND attend hands-on workshops and lectures about artisan baking, milling, and wheat itself. The fest happens from 9am to 6pm, with the bread tasting & sale from 10 – 2, and workshops from 10 – 4. Everything will be held at AB Tech in the Magnolia Building, with an Open House and a Bakers Guild Dinner to follow the event at 128 Bingham Road (see details for the Bread Fest, Open House, and Dinner below).

Asheville Artisan Bread Festival – Collage from their Website


10-2 at the Magnolia Building on the AB Tech Campus

Please note AB Tech location! Last year this part of the festival was held at Greenlife Grocery. The bakers will be selling only at AB Tech this year.

This is your chance to SAMPLE and BUY lots of amazing breads…and meet the bakers behind the bread. Buy a loaf and get a ticket to one of the Bread Fest Classes while supplies last.

Featured Bakeries in 2012 are:

Annie’s Naturally Bakery

Braken Mountain Bakery

Bread Technique

Brother Moon Bakery

City Bakery

Hillside Bakery

Farm & Sparrow Bakery

Flat Rock Village Bakery

Loaf Child Bakery

Riverblaze Bakery

Stick Boy Bakery

Tellico Grains Bakery

Wake Robin Farm Breads

West End Bakery

Wildflower Bakery

Author Treska Lindsey will also have a booth selling her wonderfully written and illustrated book – “How Batistine Made Bread”.


10 am to 4 pm at AB Tech (mostly)

The theme of this year’s festival is “Local Grain, Local Flour, and Local Bread”; the festival will feature experts on local grain production, milling, and baking with local and heirloom wheat. How do you attend a class? Tickets are required for all workshops, andonline ticket sales have ended. BUT (and this is one of the ultra-cool aspects of this event) when you buy a loaf of bread from a baker, you will receive a free ticket to attend one of the classes. You may not be able to choose which class, but any of the classes will be fabulous for bread-enthusiasts who want to improve their baking skills. You have a great chance of attending Peter Reinhardt’s class on Gluten-free baking because the classroom can accommodate 150 people. Check out the class schedule and a mouth-watering slide show of the Bread Fest at: http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com/

OPEN HOUSE ~ 4:30 to 6:30

Carolina Ground Mill & Annie’s Naturally Bakery

128 Bingham Road, Suite 350, Asheville 28806 (the former Square D facility)

In conjunction with the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival, Carolina Ground http://ncobfp.blogspot.com/ will have an open house at their newly running flour mill. This beautiful mill will grind flour for local artisan bakers, specifically organic grain that was raised right here in North Carolina. Plus Annie’s Naturally will be celebrating their expansion in the same building – a new wholesale and production facility at the former Square D plant at Bingham Road. Directions link.


There will be a Bread Bakers Guild of America Guild Hall Dinner starting at 6:30 in the same building as Carolina Ground and Annie’s (128 Bingham Road, Suite 350, Asheville 28806).The dinner costs $30, includes wine and beer, and will be catered by the Culinary Commandos (recommended by Mark Rosenstein). There are a limited number of seats that are mostly full…so if you want to attend, arrive early and take your chances on getting a ticket.

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Walking into a big box craft store this week, I noticed huge bins of pumpkins and was surprised they had fresh pumpkins. Double take! They were synthetic pumpkins that looked real on first glance. OK, so where do we draw the line?  Sure, sure these synthetic pumpkins won’t turn into compost at any point…but they won’t turn into pies or jack-o-lanterns either.

Let’s think authenticity. Let’s think imbued with lifeforce. Go for the real thing that actually has feng shui and translates into a genuine celebration of the season. Find your beautiful fall squash and pumpkins at the markets. Think this through. A pumpkin grown on your native soil soaking up sunshine and bringing up nutrients from our Mother Earth (plus this pumpkin can be composted!) versus an industrially produced pumpkin that has choked the atmosphere with noxious fumes during its production (and ends up as trash in a landfill). Support your local farmer instead of a Chinese factory.

Carl roasting peppers, Julie weighing produce, Mountain Harvest Organics

Last weekend we had a wonderful mostly local meal. I visited the North Asheville Tailgate Market in search of Carl’s roasted Italian peppers. When I arrived he was just setting his roaster up. Soon that smoky fragrance filled the market and made my stomach grumble. So I got some fresh spinach pasta from the pasta lady, basil (Flying Cloud Farm), roasted peppers (Mountain Harvest Organics)…and combined with parsley from my garden and garlic (Gaining Ground) and onions (Full Sun), we made the most delicious pesto pasta…even had some leftovers the next day, SO good, along with salad adorned with tiny, tender cucumbers and cherry tomatoes; scallops (Carolina Wild Seafood), squash casserole, and French baguette (Annie’s Naturally). Cook it up this weekend.

Click here for the pesto recipe:


ANNOUNCEMENT for artists:

Black Mountain Tailgate Market is sponsoring a Logo Design Contest for their market. They want an image that conveys the essence of the market (the best of farm fresh local foods and handcrafted items to our community. It’s a special place where friends come to meet friends, children play among the tents, and a vibrant Saturday morning celebration of our community as a whole). The graphic design can be up to 4 colors suitable for print materials, digital media and screen printing. The deadline is September 15 and the winner will receive $50 BMTM bucks. Contact Joan Englehart for more information at manager@blackmountaintailgatemarket.org.

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Have you ever attended this awesome event? Don’t miss it!

The seventh Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers Festival will be held at Greenlife Grocery this Saturday, April 2, starting at 10 a.m. This isn’t just any old average bread…these bakers know the secrets that coined the term “staff of life”.  How are they are able to get that wonderful crumb (the inside of the loaf) surrounded by a nice crunchy crust? There is some serious baker know-how involved, and a lot of this bread is hearth-baked in a wood fired oven. Make a sandwich on one of these loaves, and you’re talking instantly gourmet. Delectable savouries and sweets will be offered too…which usually includes the best croissants ever. Over fifteen local bakeries will be offering tastings, and loaves & baked goods will be for sale.  Stock up! Bakers will be manning their tables until 2 p.m.

Simultaneously, from noon to 6 p.m., the Asheville Artisan Bread Fest will be offering hands-on workshops & classes. You can purchase tickets to the classes for $10 (each class) online through NOON of Thursday, March 31, or before and during the Bread Festival. A limited number of tickets will be available free through the bakers when you buy a loaf of bread. Some classes are already sold out! Any profits from the Bread Festival will be donated to Carolina Ground http://kck.st/dRWAuR (NC Organic Bread Flour Project). See http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com for the class schedule which features hands-on baking classes with Didier Rosada of Uptown Bakers near Washington, DC, Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery in Cary, NC., Mark Rosenstein, local chef & author (sold out), and Emily Buelher (baker & author). Peter Reinhart (baker and author), Joe Lindley (miller), David Bauer (baker), Antoine Guerlain (oven mason), and Jennifer Lapidus (baker & director of the NC Organic Bread Flour Project). This is a fantastic opportunity to learn something from the professionals, and get inspired.

If nothing else, just come buy some bread for supper!


I hear that Treska Lindsey may be at Farm & Sparrow’s booth selling her wonderful children’s book, “How Batistine Made Bread”. This book is a must for anyone who delights in fresh-baked bread…or just loves life itself.

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