Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Committment to Vegan Food

As time moves on, we have continued to provide diners with an impressive array of vegan (and many GF) lunchtime food choices.  To list some of our vegan options (including sweets), we offer our:
  • Falafel
  • Thai Curry Bowl
  • Dal Curry Bowl
  • Savory Filled Hand Pies
  • Sweet Filled Hand Pies
  • Pumpkin Maple Walnut Cupcakes
  • Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
  • Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Mounds
  • Superchunk Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Homemade Hummus Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper
  • Black Bean Chili
  • Stuffed Flaky Savory Tartines
Many of our longtime diners are aware that Chef Matt Props has moved on to work at a larger corporation, and we wish him the best.  While the Bakery has never been exclusively vegan, we intend to keep these great items running and potentially add on more so that the vegans in the Triangle have really good choices when they dine with us.  I was recently reminiscing on the old days of working with Matt and decided to collect some of my favorite blog posts from his tenure:

Durham DOUGH Recap

Last Saturday, we launched our first community-driven pitch party, Durham DOUGH. Four community organizations presented their projects while the audience enjoyed Dal and Thai Curry Bowls. The presentations featured youth conservation and faith projects, a puppet troupe for at-risk youth, a talent show for developmentally disabled adults and teens, and a start-up pecan milk company supporting North Carolina pecan growers. Rachel Atkinson, the entrepreneur behind Native Beverage, the local pecan milk company, took home the winnings. A big thanks to our presenters and all those that turned out to eat and vote. We look forward to launching our next pitch party in February!

Got a community benefiting project? Let us know (at ninthstbakery at gmail dot com) and we'll give you a chance to win some dough.

Durham DOUGH Ballot

Audience Members
Youth Faith Conservation Network

Reality Ministries

Scrappet Nation

Monday, December 15, 2014

NSB's Best of 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chanukah Party Recap

To the shouts of "Gimmel!", we fried potato pancakes (latkes) all night and gave away driedels and gelt to the kids.  Earlier, Brian and I peeled and fine-grated forty pounds of potatoes and twelve pounds of onions (there was a little bit of crying).   Big shouts to Kathy Jo, Esme, and Kevin, Alyssa and Levi, Adam, Lindsey, and Sam, and Nat, Harris, Madeline, and Margot for coming through.  Big shouts to Brian for helping so much (including three hours of continuous frying) and Nate for crew-ing the night.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Farmer's Market in Winter

Now that the hours have changed for our Farmer's Markets (now 10AM-noon at Hunt Street, 9AM-noon at South Durham Farmer's Market), it's time to recognize the crew that supports our endeavors in what is sometimes less than appealing conditions.  In the cold and wet this past weekend, Michael, Danielle, and Amanda were out slinging babkas, mandelbrot, pastries, breads, Pan Forte, Stollen, and all the other good things we bring to the public.  In addition, Nate, Kim, Adrian, and Christina have been regularly working the markets too, and to them we give our greatest thanks.  We hope that you will join us at the market soon - local farmers still have delicious Fall/Winter crops, plenty of greens rich in antioxidants, as well as root vegetables for your next stew, soup, or roast!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Recently a young baker came to visit and asked how it was possible to have your own bakery without a patron. This is a very, very good question. I told him you can build anything yourself if you are willing to wait for it. And in that time you must work. You must work harder than you want, longer than you can and with such tenacity that you forget what you’re working towards. In that time you must hold one thing in mind ~ that you are not looking for money, you are looking for truth. This is artisan. This is handmade."


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Charleston Food Tour: Highlights

Like Venice, Charleston has the feeling of a city once occupied, now reborn as a tourist destination. The College of Charleston incongruously sits in the middle, so your hip coffee spot might be on a fraternity row, and frequented by students in leggings rolling out of bed at 1PM.

The Southern food on hand is largely of good quality, as has been frequently described by NPR. Between walking the Battery and admiring the pretty houses, here are some food highlights:

Black Tap Coffee: Hardwoods, Counter Culture pour-overs, friendly baristas.
Minero: Sean Brock's taco spot.  You can get a Tecate with lime with a proper taco, but I would have enjoyed this more if it was served off a truck.
Husk: Sean Brock's flagship.  Extra Southern.  Nerd Southern.  Carolina Gold rice in abundance.  Salads were the highlight.
Recovery Room: Dive bar.  Upon asking if they had any house cocktails, the bartender muttered something unintelligible followed by "...mostly cold beer".
Faculty Lounge: Grad student dive bar with an impromptu dance floor.  Dark and hard to find (it looks like a shotgun apartment with no sign), which lent to its authenticity.  
The Ordinary: Mike Lata's oyster spot.  Thumbs down for food (the raw shellfish just wasn't fresh enough, and most had been imported from afar).   Thumbs up for ambiance/decor (tall airy ceilings with the pretention of an epic New York restaurant) and the kindly service.
Charleston Farmers Market: Many open air food stands here.  Highlight was Outta My Huevos.  Possibly one of my favorite chicken biscuits ever with almost a quarter pound of pimento cheese and pickled jalapeños on top.   Surprisingly few farmers at the market (probably less than at Durham Farmer's Market), and some were reselling SC produce purchased elsewhere.  I guess no one cooks at home in Charleston, you just go out.   
Xiao Bao Biscuit: Laid back place, simple, small bowls of food.  Hipster waitstaff brought the informed city recommendations and energy.  The highlight was the the black bean encrusted fried chicken.  
Artisan Meat Share: Sloppy sandwiches made from in-house cured meats.  It's one that we could have skipped, but I was still hungry.  Good picnic food for nearby Hampton Park.
The Belmont:  This cocktail bar brought the sexy though the cocktails themselves didn't convert the extra point.  Art Deco vibe.  Fun infographic-laden cocktail menu with legend (e.g. icons for sweet, sour, rocks, citrus, boozy). 
Gin Joint: Good drinks. Gross food (did I really need to pour the buttermilk over that butternut squash cornbread and eat the whole thing?).  
Folly Beach: A good place for snacks from home, especially Ninth Street Bakery Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot.

Get Your Thanksgiving Pie On

Pickups Start Monday the 24th


Friday, October 17, 2014

Piebaker Jarrett at the Helm

Many thanks to Val Jarrett for leading a class on piebaking.  I think all the participants came away with great pies and instruction.  You can tell from the mix of intensity and humor on her face how seriously she takes her pie.  Val decends from multiple generations of Pennsylvania pie bakers.  Photos by Christa K.

Via Smoke Signals

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

RIP Charlie's

My father's favorite waitress of all time, Marie
Merrill Diamond of the South End was at Charlie's. 

On June 27th, 2014, the venerated Boston breakfast spot Charlie's closed its doors after 87 years in business.  It was my father's favorite restaurant.  He had been going every Saturday morning without fail for nearly a decade.  When they closed, he didn't know what to do with himself on Saturday mornings, both gastronomically and spiritually.  Charlie's was the kind of diner where the waitresses knew your order, customers sat in the same seat every time, regulars got preferential treatment (including someone to watch out for your illegally parked car), the food was unpretentious, and the coffee excellent.

To be honest, at first I didn't understand Dad's attraction to Charlie's.  He had never had a local bar that he went to, so this must have been some kind of replacement?  The customers generally sat alone, except for the tourists.  Their most famous dish was the Turkey Hash, which to me sounded more gut-busting than Scrapple.  The tables were topped with linoleum, the muffins dense and sugary, the lighting fluorescent.  The hash brown potatoes, though delicious, were fried in oil for several hours on a cast iron skillet and would make my stomach ache throughout the remainder of the day.  My Dad's favorite dish of theirs was the cheese omelet, which to their credit was light and fluffy and finished under the broiler though filled with orange American cheese.

The last day I visited Charlie's with Dad in mid-May, I think I got it.  I was watching the two brother-owners work, Chris and Arthur Manjourides, who had inherited the business from their own father.  As Chris plated an omelet, Arthur scooped a serving of hash browns down onto the plate silently and like clockwork. My pancakes took on a new meaning as I realized the sweat and toil that had gone into this place, that Arthur and Chris were simply trying to serve the people of Boston honest food in a comfortable place.  After that morning, I had thoughts of frying eggs and making Babka French Toast on Sundays for our Ninth Street customers.  Maybe someday we will get there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One Year Later

We had a busy lunch today Downtown, and it made me reflect on how far we've come since a year ago when we purchased the Bakery from the Ferrell family.  A year ago, a lunch rush was often set askew by dropped orders, not enough staffing, unanswered phones, limited choices, and longish waits.  Today, we are staffed up to handle all the Downtown professionals that enjoy our sandwiches and rotating vegan and gluten-free specials.

Many of our customers see Ninth Street as largely having stayed the same, but many changes have been going on behind the scenes, including:
- More baking lessons offered
- More daily vegan specials
- More wholesale pastry accounts
- More gluten free and vegan pastry offerings
- Improved bread quality and consistency
- A new cake program
- A new culinary-trained Pastry Chef, Shelby Smith, who has been delighting our wholesale customers with inventive desserts and snacks

The stability of the Bakery has improved as well, with revenues up 15% relative to last year this time, allowing us to engage in modest infrastructure improvements and increased wages for our hardworking staff.

We look forward to a great second year in business (the 34th since the Bakery's founding) and thank all of our customers across the Triangle for their continued support of our mission to bake organic breads and pastries in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

Track of the Day:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Farmer's Market Jazz


Pastry Lesson Recap

Saturday Night, NSB Pastry Chef Shelby Smith took a class on a whirlwind lesson in making French tart crust pastries, filled with pastry cream and topped with fruit.  Here are some assorted photos from this special evening.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Falafel Bar Recap

We made it happen Saturday night with some really great falafel combinations.  The crowd's reaction was very positive.  Here was my favorite feedback....

"Four fritters in house made pita strewn with blackened caramelized onions layered in with lettuce tucked in with blood red kimchi topped with diced dill pickle and sprinkled with crushed kettle chips and drizzled with tahini. You really need a picture of that? Cause it's probably gonna be way better in your mind."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Click to Return to Menu Page

F. G. Cooper, b. 1883
Food... Don't Waste It.
[United States]: U.S. Food Administration, [between 1914 and1918]. ( New York : W.F. Powers Litho.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Taste of Francoise

"...a brill, because the fish-woman had guaranteed its freshness; a turkey, because she had seen a beauty in the market at Roussainville-le-Pin; cardoons with marrow, because she had never done them for us in that way before; a roast leg of mutton, because the fresh air made one hungry and there would be plenty of time for it to 'settle down' in the seven hours before dinner; spinach, by way of a change; apricots, because they were still hard to get; gooseberries, because in another fortnight there would be none left; raspberries, which M. Swann had brought specially; cherries, the first to come from the cherry-tree, which had yielded none for the last two years; a cream cheese, of which in those days I was extremely fond; an almond cake, because she had ordered one the evening before..." - From Swann's Way, Marcel Proust.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guest Writer: Marisa

My sister Marisa came into town for a week-and-a-half this summer and helped out at the bakery.  This is what she found:

I knew there was a reason I’ve been strength training for the past two years. I had unknowingly been preparing for my day at Ninth Street Bakery. Lifting enormous slabs of dough is challenging enough, but doing it at a rapid enough pace so as to not let the butter melt, should qualify pastry making as a competitive sport.   

I had come to Durham to spend time with my brother, my nephew, and help out at the bakery. Before this extended visit, I had a very rough idea of how labor-intensive and life-consuming running a bakery was. Even after spending close to two weeks in Durham, I only got a very small taste. What I saw was how much of Ari’s life, love, and passion goes into this bakery. While he gets to share in the successes of the bakery, like introducing a customer to a new food item they can’t get enough of, or training an employee in a new area, he is the first line of offense and the last line of defense (yes, we were both soccer goalies =).  This means he deals with all the day to day duties and setbacks as well as trying to plan a future for the bakery and his staff.

Ari is responsible for all his staff and customers. Because he cares deeply about all of them, he wants both parties to be happy, motivated, encouraged, and challenged - whether they are eating, baking, or cooking. As the little sister who looks up to Ari enormously, I’ve been studying him my entire life. I know that look when he’s trying to problem solve or when he’s juggling multiple ideas and playing out various possible outcomes. I saw both those faces constantly at the bakery. If I could grant Ari and his team one wish it would be that they could take a breath, sit back, and enjoy the successes that they have created at Ninth Street. I know that time will come, but until then, Ari has the work ethic, stamina, and open-mindedness to grow and develop himself and the bakery. Plus, I’ll make sure to keep up the strength training for the next time I visit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On NSB's Chocolate Babka

"Toasted, with a little bit of butter...It's sort of like crack cocaine." - a customer.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lil' Farm: The Sweetest Thing

Every year since I started the Berenbaum's Bakery, we have tried to collaborate with George O'Neal, proprietor of Lil' Farm.  Last year, we did a Lil' Farm to Fork pop-up dinner at NSB, and this year, we have been sourcing more veggies from George for the Cafe.  This year was the second that I got to spend a day out at the farm to walk his fields and talk plants, breads, and foodie-ism in general.  I arrived on a hot day with my two-year-old son Elijah at the tail end of strawberry season (about a month ago).  Those late season berries, water hungry, were like sugar on the vine, literally jam in berry form.  It had to be the sweetest thing I'd tasted in a long time.  Shouts to George for doing his thing again this season, with help from his crew: Lily, Eric, and Dominique.  His farm expanded this past year with a large hoop house where cucumbers and tomatoes are growing from floor to ceiling held up by tethers.  We wish him the best and please please visit the man the next time you go to the Durham Farmer's Market, and tell him the appreciative folks at NSB sent 'ya.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Baker's Way

I have a friend who recently told me he is feeling a lack in his life. He is a successful person by any standard measure (college educated, employed, partnered), yet his life and work leaves him unsatisfied.

For those like him that are searching, I offer this: find that which brings you to a state of immanence, or total immersion in the act.  For someone like Mark Zuckerberg, it might be the act of writing program code.  For Ed Espe Brown and others like myself, it is bread baking.  Aside from the zenlike motions of kneading dough by hand, baking is an infinitesimal art of degrees, where small changes in a recipe can influence the end product dramatically.  Bread baking feels like endlessly opening a Chinese box, a nested structure where there are no dead ends, only endless doors to open, giving one the sensation of always being on the cusp of something, like the crest of a wave.

So to my friend the searcher, I say to him find your Chinese box and endlessly open it.  It may not be something that you ever master, because you will be continuously mastering it.  To achieve mastery is to steadily decrease the residual, the remainder that is beyond reach.  But in that remainder is the aleph, the kernel of the idea that brought you to the problematic in the first place, that attracted you and compelled you to open the first page.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beekeeping, Honey and the Plight of the Honeybee in 2014

At Ninth Street Bakery, we primarily use natural wildflower local honey as a sweetener instead of sugar for our breads (and have been since the 1980's).  As the North American bee population has experienced severe dieoff, the price of honey has skyrocketed by nearly 30%.  I hear all the time from Heidi Pirtle Moore, our honey purveyor, how difficult it is becoming to source good honey, and wanted to share with you her trials and tribulations, hopes and fears for the bees and the future of honey, the newest luxury good.  From Heidi:

Hi Ninth Street Bakery Fans!
June marks my 20th year of selling local honey to Ninth Street Bakery.  I am a broker that buys mostly from local beekeepers and sells to local bakeries and natural food stores.  I’ve seen a lot of changes since 1994.  First of all back in the early years, my beekeepers (I had 5 back then) seemed pretty confident about treating the two different mites (the tracheal and the varroa) that plague the honeybee.  Second, my beekeepers always had a surplus of honey every year.  And third, the price of honey could either go up OR down.  In 2014, speaking now to my one and only beekeeper, he is not at all confident about controlling the mites; they have become resistant to most of the treatments available.   Also, we have not had a surplus of honey in at least 6 years.  During the past 5 years, we have contended with severe weather that has made it hard for the honeybees to gather nectar and make honey.  As a result, there have been years we have not made it through with enough local honey to serve all of my existing customers.  And finally, prices have risen so dramatically that honey is now becoming out of reach for many people to buy.  (I have not seen a price decrease in at least 12 years.)   Being a beekeeper is an expensive, labor-intensive job to have.  And despite his hard work to keep his bees healthy, my beekeeper loses a substantial amount of bees every year and more this year than in previous years.  Because the mites are resistant to the treatments and the losses of bees each year is substantial, beekeepers have a hard time making a living off of making honey.  

So why such changes over the last 20 years?  I’m not an expert on honeybees, but I have been following the research.  No one knows the exact cause of why bees are dying at such an alarming rate.  But the research suggests a complex set of factors that together create an overwhelming burden on the honeybee (and other pollinators).  Those reasons include:  the increased use of pesticides, changes in weather patterns that may be related to global warming, and the loss of natural habitat for enough good food for bees to eat.
Here are some sites if you are interested in more information on  Colony Collapse Disorder and the plight of the honeybee:

What can be done?
First, I think it’s important to see yourself as part of the natural world.  Everything that happens to our planet, we as humans will be affected by as well.  Considering that honeybees pollinate one-third of the food we eat (blueberries, watermelons, almonds, broccoli, beets, cabbages, peppers, papaya, oranges, lemons, coffee beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, squash, carrots, sunflowers, apples, avocados…), we are highly indebted to them.  

With that in mind here are some things I have been doing to help honeybees and other pollinators:
-Support local beekeepers by buying their honey and local businesses that use local honey in their products!  Ninth Street Bakery has been doing this for over 30 years!
-Support organic farmers by buying organic produce.  They keep their plants pesticide free for honeybees and other pollinators to stay healthy!
-Plant honeybee and other pollinator foraging plants: 
-Encourage your community to keep un-mowed, wild spaces available for bees to forage!
-Take a beekeeping class with your local Ag-Extension office and keep bees!

Below is a picture of my beekeeper with his son Christopher:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekend Update

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday Night for Berenbaum Grills Out.  We had a fun time sparking the grill all day and as one customer said, the al pastor tacos were "effing amazing."  We probably won't do an all-day grill out like that again anytime soon, but it was a fun one-off.  Special big ups to Marybeth, KB, and the Scotts for coming through.  Next week, I think we are going to bring it all back home with everybody's favorite, Pizza.

Track of the Weekend:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NSB in Transition

I never thought I would find a work colleague who would like Kendrick Lamar, Earth Wind and Fire, and Hall and Oates, not to mention UGK and Galt MacDermot.  Chef Matt Props and I first met the Summer of 2012, and collaborated for over a year doing Saturday Night Pop-up dinners as well as other events.  Together, we helped to transform Ninth Street's cafe, adding more daily vegan options.  So it is with a sizable dose of sadness and nostalgia that I say that Matt is going to reduce his time at Ninth Street to focus on another job.  Here he is in his own words:

When we started our Pop-Up concept with an ode to the humble Ramen noodle, we had no idea how far it would take us. Over the past 14 months we have crafted menus based around every cuisine that intrigued us… some personal to us, some new and exotic, all intended to nourish and delight. Our customers have become our friends in that time and we've routinely solidified those bonds over many a plate of food. Durham has supported us in a way that leaves us feeling blessed and amazed and we will be forever grateful for the love we've received from y’all.

As bittersweet as it is to say, this Sat (6/14) will be the final installment of our Vegan Pop-Up series. I've accepted a position as the Healthy Eating Specialist with Whole Foods in Cary and while I'll still work with the Bakery in a production role, I'll no longer have the time or energy to continue the Sat dinners. Our café will still feature many of the (Vegan) foods you've grown to enjoy (if not more than we currently offer) and future (periodic) events are definitely a possibility.

All in all, the collective ‘we’ would just like to thank everyone who ever attended a dinner. Your patronage and friendship allowed us to push ourselves creatively and gave us a platform to showcase our nerdy Foodie interests. You helped us create a truly unique experience that we will always cherish.    -- Matt

Though Matt will no longer be at the helm on Saturday nights, he will always be family at Ninth Street, and we wish him the best.  With his help we will continue to produce his signature items, the Falafel, the Thai Curry, the soups, etc. We thank all the customers, vegan and otherwise, who have supported our crazy culinary ideas, who have come and tasted food inspired by the farthest reaches of international cuisine.

So please come out to your last two special meals prepared by Matt, Chef's Choice on Saturday Night and Vegan Brunch on Sunday.

For Matt:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekend Update

As we move into Summer, changes are afoot at Ninth Street: Our floors and walls have been painted, and we are now selling tee shirts from Runaway (better known as DURM brand).  We are now exclusively selling Bean Traders Coffee, and are looking forward to selling pound-size bags as well in-store Downtown.  At our local Harris Teeter supermarkets, shoppers can now find our Chocolate Babka, Brioche Loaves, and Brioche Hamburger Buns.  In our cafe, we just sold out entirely of a great Thai Noodle Salad - we need to make more of that!  Matt has been coming correct with great menus - look out for his Native American theme this Saturday.  We just added on a new wholesale cafe customer - Honeysuckle Tea House out by Mapleview Farm in Chapel Hill.  In sad news, Katya, our sous-chef, will be leaving us for the summer for a teaching gig in Italy! 

Tracks of the Weekend:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Little Man Rolling Matzo

Photos by Val Jarrett

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend Update

This weekend we had stellar sales at our Farmer's Markets, a delicious Vietnamese dinner Saturday Night, and an enterprising addition to the Brunch game on Sunday.

Chef Matt's Vietnamese menu was great - standouts for me were Matt's pickles and Katya's dessert, the Banh Cam (a banana and cinnamon filled deep-fried rice ball rolled in sesame seeds).

Sunday, the newest addition to our kitchen crew, Nick, came correct with Chocolate Babka French Toast, Quiches, and other fun Brunchy foods.  Looking forward to doing this again!

Veggie Quiche

Nick with Celebration Challah
Displaying photo.JPG

Track of the Weekend:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Falafel: Five Hour Energy

We have an employee who I will keep anonymous who we affectionately call "Five-Hour Energy".  He tirelessly works through some of the most physically demanding jobs at the bakery.  I'm continually in awe of his work ethic and stamina.

When I need five hours of hunger-free energy, I use Chef Matt's Falafel.

Under the guise of the humble ground garbanzo bean, Matt's falafel is a energy bomb of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.  After that sandwich drizzled with tahini sauce and the requiste amount of crunch from fresh lettuce -- all packed into a hummus-schmeared pita, I feel like my workday is now completely powered up.


Recently, we have been programming events to diversify the audience and purpose of the Ninth Street Downtown space.  We have had baking contests, academic discussions, dance parties, rock shows, and maybe even a little bit of theater upcoming.

What would you like to see at Ninth Street?  How do you think our prime Downtown location should be used to benefit the community at large?  How can we be giving back to more organizations that do good works locally?  Do you think there is an audience for our cafe and bar area to be open every night instead of just Saturday nights?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gastronomical Intensity

At the bakery, we are often in dialogue of what makes food taste good, especially when making comparative judgements ("Why is this wine better than that wine? Why is this falafel better than that falafel?").

I would argue to use a new perspective for this purpose adopted from Gilles Deleuze called intensity.

The best way that I could define intensity as Deleuze uses it to emphasize its properties of dimensionality. With a good wine, (multiple) dimensions are encurled such that infinite space can exist within a droplet of alcohol. Conversely, one might say that a poor wine is flat or monodimensional or "one-note".  Perhaps that is too simplistic but that is the heart of it.  When your palate searches for taste in a food, it can either open up or close off experience. Tastes like umami are something like pure intensity - the fermentation process has turned a common salted soybean into an addictively satisfying gold.

Deleuze speak of the contents of an egg as containing intensities - all the genetic code and nutrients necessary to form a chick are contained within the shell, but in the early goings of incubation, there is nothing discernably chick-like if you were to crack it open. Thus, all the dimensions which will uncurl to create a chicken (or a snake, or a dinosaur) are enfolded microscopically within what appears to be absolute uniformity/consistency.

As Deleuze says, the egg is "defined by axes and vectors, gradients and thresholds, by dynamic tendencies involving energy transformation and kinematic movements involving group displacement, by migrations: all independent of accessory forms because the organs appear and function here only as pure intensities."


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Update

- We got poured on at our Farmer's Markets this weekend - thanks so much to our stand sellers Stu, Sammi, Amanda, and Sonoe - y'all are the green berets of our of our local food economy.

- Our Rosemary and Olive Oil Matzo was a huge hit - can't wait to make more of this next year.

- Katya put together a delish Mac & Cheese (vegan) that was extremely popular in-store - can't wait to see more of this.  Mac & Cheese pancakes next?

- Getting ready to repaint the floors in the next couple of weeks - get ready for a whole new sheen!

Brunching With the Ladies of Ninth Street: Katya, Amanda, and Kristi

Tracks of the Weekend:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Clean Slate

I've wanted to repaint the cafe walls since we took over 6 months ago.   We finally got to it last weekend (big ups to KA, CS, and SMW for helping!).  Hopefully everyone can see the difference.  Floors are next!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Katya: What Shabbat Means to Me

When I went vegan three years ago, my grandmother was very upset.

Even now, she refuses to even say the word “vegan” and resents that my little brother has since gone vegetarian.

But love and care lie at the core of her resentment: namely, the frustration that she can no longer feed me when I come to her house. The food I eat is now different from the food she eats (let’s be real here- Bubbie don’t mess wit kale), and she hates the feeling of not being able to share the traditional foods she’s been making, in her words, ever “since G-d’s dog was a puppy.”

My wonderful, sassy grandmother with her Eastern-European-Brooklynese accent passed her Jewish Mother Complex on to my mother, who has undoubtedly passed it on to me. I’ll admit this openly: I have a pathological drive to feed people.  It makes all too much sense that I love my job here.

This Jewish Mother Complex led me to host a number of large dinners and pop-ups throughout college and my early twenties. I felt connected to traditional Jewish food and its significance to my culture, so I hosted Passover Seders, Shabbat dinners, and an annual Chanukah popup called "Latkes and Vodkas". I’m so excited to now take these recipes -- recipes passed on from friends, family and my own kitchen developments -- and execute them on a larger scale here at NSB.

Matt has been very gracious and supportive in allowing me to do these dinners, and is kindly serving as my sous-chef as we temporarily switch roles. Just as he has taught me so much about classic American food, I’m now trying to explain things like kashrut and the difference between Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish dishes. The biggest struggle: explaining to a gentile what kugel is (“So, it’s kind of like casserole, but less goyish…and it can be sweet or savory…you can eat it as a side dish or main dish or breakfast or…uh... just google it.”).  But while I continue to struggle with this, the preparation begins.  Tomorrow, I hope the supermarket cashier won't laugh at me for buying a gazillion canisters of Matzo meal.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Update

This past weekend we had an amazing menu from Chef Matt - African Night.  Word on the street was that it was one of his best yet.  There were many shouts for getting the Maharagwhe (an East African curry) on a regular basis at NSB.

Pic of the weekend:
Happy Babka Eaters at the Durham Farmer's Market

This coming weekend: Shabbat
We are excited to hold two nights of Shabbat dinners this coming Friday and Saturday.  More coming soon on the inspiration and preparation for this event.

Tracks of the Weekend: