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Sunday, September 25, 2005

checking in, and at Betty's bakery

I haven't been doing a lot of cooking lately; my physical strength is inching back up towards "normal" but work has been taking it out of me.

Interestingly enough I haven't been in the kitchen much during our Feed-the-Homeless gig; I've been working the front of the house, in training for coordinating the whole shebang. (If you'd like to help, we do it on the afternoon of the third Saturday of the month.)

I haven't even been to the Farmer's Market the last couple of weeks - trying to conserve energy/# of shopping trips. I made some minestrone and have been living off that and rotisserie chicken from the Berkeley Bowl.

I did finally walk over to Bake Sale Betty when I was dealing with some prescription business on my day off. Unlike my underwhelming experience at Pizzaiolo on the same increasingly-chic block of Telegraph Avenue (go Temescal!), Betty was up to all the buzz and then some. Everything was a-plus, first rate, finest kind. The lemon-raisin scones were meltingly tender, full of plump raisins and with just enough lemon for a pleasant zing. The banana bread made me rethink needing raisins and nuts in mine. And the lemon bars are without a doubt THE BEST I have ever had. And I've had some mighty tasty lemon bars, including the lemon curd bars I made off a recipe in Fine Cooking and ate the whole damn pan.

I complimented Alison (aka Bakesale Betty herself) on the bars and she generously pointed me towards her source - Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies (which is the source of those eeevilly good Scharffenberger double chocolate cookies). I can see making up a pan for a church function but for my onesie-twosies I'm definitely going to keep buying from her.

In the works ... finally a real review of Sea Salt (or maybe "A tale of two restaurants"), and hope to get something done for Sam's I Can't Believe I Ate Vegan IMBB #19. I have Vegan Stuff in the archives but have something else in mind.

I live in SF and was over in Oakland last week, so I briefly stopped by that area (Temescal) to check out the menu and look of Pizzaiola (after their great review). Looked nice, but I was really curious about Bake Sale Betty's which was already closed for the day. Thanks for filling me in. Sounds scrumptious! Next time I'm over there, I know where I'll be heading....
You do not have to go to Betty's Bakery to get her delicious baked goods! Just go to one of the many farmer's markets where she sells her wares! I am from the east bay, so I know the Danville market on Saturday and the Walnut Creek market on Sunday, but I am sure that there are more!
And you didn't mention her shortcakes. They are the BEST ever - great with whatever fruit is available at the market on that day! Go Betty!!!
Well, yer doing better than I. I've got something going for the vegan action, but am not too thrilled with my choice. I made a bitchen' veggie stock, but that's only the beginning. We need to get going, only a few days left!
EB Food Chick and Brett -

Thank you for stopping by!

Actually the Temescal store is closer to me than any of the markets she sells at; she doesn't sell at Berkeley, drat it.
I'm suddenly so hungry...

My great culinary experiment to come -- I have a wonderful, huge organic roaster I bought at a local feed store that sells the owner's frozen beef and chicken, as well as wonderful brown eggs, on the side ("Pssst...can you score me a rump roast?...")...and I just bought one of those appliances for upright-roasting/infusing chickens -- makes it look like the chicken is waving goodbye there in the oven.;-) I can't play with this this weekend, but perhaps next weekend.
hey, i checked out pizzaiola a month ago and though underwhelmed by their pizza, was knocked out by their incredible calamari in a delicious ragout-like, savoury sauce. Their greens with fresh figs, etc. was also delicious as was the mascarpone polenta concoction. Frankly, the only thing that wasn't stellar was the pizza (sad, but true) and the dessert. I've heard the desserts have improved and am planning to go again on my bday. It's definitely worth checking out - and I'm all over Bake Sale Betty's. Yummy!
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