Monday, April 26, 2004

Arts Festival 

We went to the Arts Festival Saturday with an eye towards finding ideas (and maybe stuff) for the Cracked Cauldron.

We found all sorts of charming teapots, but none were useable. They were all ornamental. Maybe someday, one or two of the teapots will decorate the Cracked Cauldron but not now.

We saw an artist who made clocks - lovely ones, but while one might have been suitable for the Cracked Cauldron, none were in the right size or price range. On speaking to the artist, she couldn't make one the right size, so there went that idea.

We also found some lovely art for personal use, but well out of our price range as we are hoarding funds for opening the Cracked Cauldron.We did, however, discover the best pot roast we've ever tasted. Amber Ale pot roast in a bread bowl. Too bad the bowl actually dulled the flavor of the roast.

We plan to speak to the restaurant about possibly supplying them with better bowls. They need one that's a step up from cardboard. I think a ciabatta-style bread shaped like a bowl, slightly flavored with rosemary and bay will go a long way towards improving the dish (but not the roast, which was wonderful). The gravy needs a bowl that will soak it up and keep it's shape in the liquid without getting all tough. A crust that will not get limp and soggy, but stay slightly crisp and chewy. An interior dough full of small holes to trap that luscious gravy and small bits of roast so the flavor is enjoyed to the last crumb. Yes, that should do it.

We'll see.

On a non-bakery note, we discussed, with another shop owner, my personal hobby of making meads and homemade sodas. That brought up the topic of butterbeer as mentioned in the Harry Potter books. All the recipes I'd seen for it described using a cream soda with butter in it or a root beer with butter added. Yuck. A few mentioned adding buttershots, but really, this isn't child-appropriate in America.

But, making a soda with licorice root, costmary, sarsaparilla, burdock root, and almonds will make a foamy, light "root beer" that tastes creamy and buttery, and will stand up well to being heated. Topped up with a dollop of real whipped cream and sprinkles, it would make a foamy, bittersweet hot drink that will also magically leave a cool taste behind (thank you, costmary).

Now, we have to correlate the notes from the last cheesecake experiment.

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