So, this is us ... Fran and Rosie, left to right. At home we keep everyone on their toes and are very pleased to finally see our names on a kraft label. Because frankly, all those butter creams and batters smell just divine!
Sadly, we are not let to taste test, oversee baking projects, or anything else close to that ... Matter of the fact, despite being the real powers around here we're not even welcome in the kitchen! (very disappointing ...)
However, the two of us are still in charge out back monitoring chatty chickens, inspecting small spaces, performing herb dégustations, and chasing shady creatures away from the house.
Wishing you an unforgettable flavor experience, and please say Hello for us to your feline!
From the Baker
After more than half a century of hanging near the oven, with hundreds, maybe thousands of passionate losses and small victories unmolded, in my mind there is no choice but offering to share the fruits.
I rely on baking as a re-assurance of being alive, in the right place, and, given the nature of the times, at least relatively mentally stable. I also depend on it for having a way to join and celebrate the full circle of survival - soil, air, sun and water, animals and pollinators, growers and harvesters, cooks and bakers, magical natural processes as they happen in the kitchen, and real food.
For me these things unmistakably belong to the single ground that every one of us counts on for nourishment wherever we are; they reveal our powerfully creative sides and pasts, and open our hearts to one another and to what we positively have in common.
Last but not least, unsurprisingly, I love seeing others enjoy the stuff I make. And as those gloriously sweet moments occur, the skies open up and all the previous night's brutal hours spent over slabs of dough are promptly and miraculously forgotten.
nice to meet you
A piece of truth to start with - minimalism has never been my strong suit. So yes, by most standards the menu is too big and overly open to interpretation. This is partly because we are not anywhere near streamlining production here, and I want to figure out what you sweet snack, savory bake, and dessert lovers might really be into out there.
Another reason is my own selfish need for entertainment; who wants to make the same thing every time...? After all, each order gets its personalized planning, shopping and thinking time no matter what is going in the oven.
We offer Eastern and Central European specialties as an homage to the homeland, and to make our Bay Area compatriots happy. With equal passion we also create many other things from different parts of the Americas and the world to which four decades spent in California have opened my eyes and taste buds.
We use the best ingredients I can find at a price that fits the budget. Vast majority, especially flours, are organic. (This is a professional deformation brought on by a 30 plus year environmental design career and too much time spent researching Big Food's growing and harvesting ways.) The rest are non-gmo at a minimum; other things such as fruit spreads, various mix-ins or chocolate are either home made or feature a parts list much shorter than the customary War and Peace. None contain anything artificial (at least by available data); flavors, colors and decorations are also natural, although some celebration projects can include edible gold flakes in small amounts (they do look festive:).
In short, I not only have your and your kids' healthy future at heart but also don't find sinking my hands into the so called 'conventional' food products, which usually range from toxic to extra toxic, worth my time and enthusiasm.
In addition, everything we create has just enough sugar to make flavors shine and egg whites hold up; ideally no more than that.
Fresh fruit might come from our local farmers' market, or from sources that purchase directly from growers on this side of the continent. We take advantage of seasonal varieties as much as we can. So, if you ask for strawberries on your kolach or cupcake in January, they will be previously frozen (which actually develops extra flavors), after having been picked during their long local season. Apricots, pears and plums are often used in year-round baking dried or canned, because their quality and taste tend to be consistently decent that way and their harvest time is otherwise rather short. The last three are mentioned because all have traditionally been a big part of the Moravian, Czech and Slovak culinary culture.
Regional food history and its teachings are loved in our kitchen. They get us thinking about local land and climate, bring us closer to the bakers of worlds past, and revive happy memories of grandparents, moms, dads, or other caring persons who helped form our childhood selves.
So to walk the talk, yours truly seeks out authentic recipes, digs for stories behind their origins, and then works on gently shaping them for farm, orchard, and garden to table living in Northern California.
Thanks for being here, and CHEERS!
Fran & Rosie's
Contra Costa County Cottage Food Operation License #75190
P.S. All things are made in our very clean home kitchen. No hairy carnivorous (a.k.a. totally omnivorous) beasts allowed :)