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Relationships

Sometimes, reading this blog, you might get the impression that it's all about the sales at the markets. If so, I've given you the wrong impression. Of course, any business, mine included needs sales to stay afloat, however, the relationships you form are nearly as important, or at least it is to me. You may say, you're a lucky gal who doesn't need to live off her earnings, and you'd be completely justified to think that way. It's oh so true I'm one heck of a lucky gal.

Heading off to the Winter Garden Market on Saturday morning I mentioned to Bruce that I was going to take a few cookies out for the family I've become friendly with. Cookies? What cookies you ask?

Friday, instead of a road trip, I baked. Or at least partially so, because the gingerbread dough is still in the refrigerator awaiting it's fate in the oven. Do you think this organic cinammon I used will elevate the taste?
Unlikely, but we'll see. What I did manage to get done were the sugar cookies. Ordinarily I make a drop sugar cookie, contenting myself with decorated circles. Because I bought some new cookie cutters I decided to give them a try using the included sugar cookie recipe from Wilton. Delicious friends, delicious.
The dough is on my new handy pastry mat from Amazon, actually made in Ocala, Florida. In the foreground is the cutter for what is supposed to be a snowflake. Not really, more like a flower when it's all said and done.
In defense of my baking skills, the photograph makes them they look a tad browner than they do in person. But, if I were you what I'd be noticing is the silly looking frosting attempt. Using a recipe from All Recipes, which had exemplary ratings by the way, I was not nearly as enthusiastic as most reviewers. Entirely too thick. Wouldn't spread worth a darn, as is plainly evident. Another reason I might be hesitant to re-use this cutter is the excessive browning on the little legs while the middle requires further cooking. Prior to actually making the dough I got out the egg carton and picked out an egg. Well, of course I did if the recipe called for it! What I noticed is that it seemed much larger than usual. Thus, I lined them all up to compare the size of what is in a carton of large eggs.
When baking, measurements are so important that it made me wonder just how much liquid does a large egg represent. Perhaps, the disparity makes a difference. This sounds like a Tom question to me.
Where is he when I need him??? Why, in London of course!

As I mentioned above I made a little gift box for TJ, Ellen, Meghan, Emily and Torrie, hoping they would come to the market and they did! Meghan made me an adorable card, complete with an oversheet meant to be the envelope. Her drawn stamp had a little heart in the middle. :) The family also brought me a gift bag which held this homemade ornament. You know how I love ornaments that are memory makers.
Very sweet. Speaking of sweet, while at the market I picked the brain of my German pastry maker friend. We discussed my frosting dilemma and he gave me a few pointers on baking in general. He suggested I mix confectioners sugar with a little lime juice and paint it on my gingerbread which is what I intend to do after blogging. Moreover, he shared another trade secret for cake baking. Simple syrup. Yep, you brush simple syrup on each layer of a cake prior to adding the frosting which he swears is what makes bakery cakes moist. Can't wait to give that one a try.

So, the sales were dismal but my encounters with friends can't be measured in dollars and cents. Dana even arranged for a Santa Claus to be there for the children.
And a pretty impressive Santa he was.

Saturday night we went to Bruce's annual department party. The invitation read, "holiday cocktail attire", however, from the looks of the things, it seemed as if Bruce and I were the only ones who followed through. I got pretty glammed up, although I've no pictures to prove it. I didn't have anyone take our picture, nor are any of the pictures I took at the party worth sharing. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a grump, I hate parties where you pretty much have to bring everything. BYOB, BYOF, BYOG. Bah humbug!

Sunday morning was a bit crisp and chilly, however, Bruce brought my little heater, as well as put up the tent sides to block the wind, creating a cozy little atmosphere. The day was cram packed with visitors, many of whom I didn't properly get to chat with. I was making introductions all around. Seriously, it felt like a daytime party! While Trish was there, a fellow came into my booth and after a bit of chit-chatting, I asked him what he did. He said he owned quite a number of hair salons along the east coast, as well as one in Las Vegas where he lives on the 35th floor of a condo building overlooking Caesar's Palace. Okay. He related how he was in town scouting an Orlando location before driving to visit his Tampa salons. Furthermore, he claimed to be a bit famous in the "hair styling world." Somehow, don't really remember how it got to this, but I believe he was responding to a question about his reputation as an employer. He said, and I kid you not, "They think I'm God, but, really, I'm just me." Unbelievable. Oddly enough, Monica, my stylist for those of you who don't already know this, came by a little after 3. Because I wrote his name down, I asked her if she'd ever heard of him. "Who?" I thought so.

Our Sunday Santa served a different purpose. The caption on this one should read, "No Kids Allowed."
Yeesh!!! Who has their dog photographed with Santa?  Because I was so busy myself, I never got back around to see if a line formed....

I brought a plate of cookies to the market, hoping to share them with my customers and a few vendors.
Because that frosting was so darn thick, I thinned it out considerably with milk, either dipping the cookies in it, or spreading it on with a knife. Much, much better.

My sales were just fine and my Square worked like magic. After the market Bruce and I visited with Dana who has a idea for our business which you'll learn about sooner, rather than later if you stay tuned to Camera Crazy. That relationship thing? Ah, yes. Bruce bought some ornaments from the children's art booth;  next year as I get all the ornaments out, will, to the best of my ability, fondly remember him helping them out. Encouragement goes a long ways.
Off to the kitchens, my gentle readers....


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