It’s cloudy today. A good day to stay inside with the oven on. I woke up before 7 this morning for the first time since my quarantine started. I’m taking it as a good sign. Today is Saturday, baking day, the day before the White Rock Farmers Market opens.
On Thursday, the last day of April, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum put together an online concert of space songs. The show opened with one of my favourite songs of all-time, “The Commander Thinks Aloud,” played by John Roderick on a grand piano in an empty Town Hall, church-turned-venue, in Seattle. In the background, stained glass, as well as his daughter, twirling to her own song. “The Commander” was written about the Challenger disaster, which I’m too young to remember. But it’s actually about feeling faraway and watching the world go by. I listened to it a dozen times before I moved on to the rest of the show. (Stay to the end for Sting, doing a version of “Walking on the moon” by The Police.)
In a few minutes, I’m going to get up to make myself another chocolate chip pancake, spread it with peanut butter, (wish I had remembered to buy bananas yesterday), then put on Victorian Farm to accompany me as I start baking. The dough was aging in the fridge until this morning, when I took it out to come up to temperature. I cut sheets of parchment for the loaf pans while the kettle boiled. My plan is a couple of loaves swirled with grape jelly (until the jelly runs out), then plain braids until the dough runs out. I made it with AP flour and rolled oats for a true breakfast vibe.
While those are proofing, I’ll mix up some more dough for foccacia with Spanish olive oil and rosemary, from my grandma’s garden. As a first market special, I made crumbs with all the bread I couldn’t eat, then seasoned them with my own sea salt, pepper, and oregano—also from the garden. There’s not a lot; that’s why it’s special. I have so! many! ideas! but I’m trying to restrain myself. I need a solid core of everyday products before I branch out.
While I was searching for my photos from my 2019 Great Canadian Baking Show audition, I discovered this list.
October 14, 2019 is only the “last save” date. The idea of a bakery has burned much longer than that. It’s already been a decade since Megan and I came up with The General, which we turned into a blog and a zine, as we worked on the logistics of a physical space that crossed the border. All Day Breakfast is a new name, but it’s the same idea, the same dream.
Megan asked me last night if I was ready for Sunday. Elly asked me the same question this morning. The answer is “yes but/and no.” I’ve done (am doing) what I can to “get” ready. But I won’t “feel” ready until my tent is up, my bread is on the table, my card reader is working, and the market officially opens. I might not even feel ready until the day is over, and I have a chance to figure out what needs to change for next weekend (May 10th!).
See you soon,
Hey there! 👋 I’m Jessica Driscoll, a baker, teacher, and writer, living on the unceded territory of the Semiahmoo Nation in a beach town outside Vancouver, BC. I’ve documented my creative experiments online since 2002, and I sell the products of those experiments at markets around the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter helps people keep track of my wandering attention span and follow along as I figure out what works. Currently, I bake on Instagram and sell at the White Rock Farmers Market, as well as online at ALL DAY BREAKFAST.