NC Made Cookbook Club: A Baker's Year

NC Made Cookbook Club: A Baker's Year

The newest chapter in the NC Made Cookbook Club saga had us flipping through the flour-dusted pages of Tara Jensen's beautiful cookbook/memoir A Baker's Year with eager eyes and watery mouths.  
 
The book is the account of one year in the life of author Tara Jenson milling grains, kneading dough, and baking her heart out in the wood-fired ovens of the Smoke Signals bakery in Marshall, NC. It's full of musings that repeatedly relate baking to life -- "Once the basics are mastered, it becomes clear that there are NO RULES." Who knew a cookbook could be so profound? While it was a challenge to pull together a well-rounded dinner menu from a book that goes all-out on the baked goods -- though of course we realize pizza would have been the easy choice IF we had started that dough 3 days in advance (next time!) -- we made a lovely meal that all enjoyed. 

The popcorn was the surprise hit of the party, leaving everyone with yellow-stained fingers and salty, buttered lips. Both quiches turned out tasty but looked pretty rustic haha -- while Nicole is the expert pie-maker in these parts, I took on the personal challenge of making the crusts by hand for the first time and gained an even deeper respect for the flaky art form. The Coalfield Cake was also a standout with its unexpected combination of orange zest, cocao, and sage. SO GOOD! Here's the full menu: 

Popcorn with Turmeric, Black Pepper & Nutritional Yeast
Parmesan & Caramelized Onion Quiche in a Cornmeal Pie Crust
Ham & Cheddar Quiche in a Single Pie Crust
Brown-Sugar-Glazed Bacon (not from the cookbook -- plus we added cracked black pepper!)
Coalfield Cake


NC Made Cookbook Club: Popcorn with Turmeric, Black Pepper & Nutritional Yeast
Popcorn with Turmeric, Black Pepper & Nutritional Yeast

NC Made Cookbook Club: Double the Quiche
Parmesan & Caramelized Onion Quiche in a Cornmeal Pie Crust + Ham & Cheddar Quiche in a Single Pie Crust

NC Made Cookbook Club: Fully Plated
Fully Plated

NC Made Cookbook Club: Coalfield Cake
Coalfield Cake

NC Made Cookbook Club: Close-up Quiche
Close-up Quiche 

Don't forget to share photos of your NC Made Cookbook Club escapades on Instagram with the hashtag #ncmadecookbookclub -- we'll feature them on our feed!  

Want to read more about our adventures in NC Made Cookbook Clubbing? Skip to our posts on Poole's, Southern from Scratch, and Deep Run Roots and prepare for FOMO.  


July 09, 2019 by Cathleen Cueto
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