Tecumseh Bread & Pastry

On Tuesdays, I run errands.  The main reason I run errands on Tuesday is because I can stop by Tecumseh Bread & Pastry to get a chocolate croissant.  And bread.  And sometimes a cookie.  Or some other kind of pastry.

There are so many things I like about this place, I’m not sure where to start.  Last Tuesday was the first time I stopped by 3 Dudes & Dinner, the temporary home of Tecumseh Bread & Pastry.  Arlo Brandl greeted us and introduced himself, then walked us through the tantalizing display of pastries and breads.  Since I’d been dreaming about chocolate croissants every since I heard about this new bakery, I had to have one. 

arlo

Baker Arlo Brandl

Arlo was a gem and picked out the two biggest ones for my aunt and me.  We made ourselves at home on the couch, even though it’s not really setup for people to hang out and linger.  That day we took home a loaf of sourdough bread and a chocolate cookie, you know, in case we got hungry later.  We waited until we were back in the car, only slightly full from eating our enormous croissants, to start tearing into the fragrant, still warm, loaf of bread.  This week, in addition to the usual chocolate croissant, we got a loaf of bread with caramelized onion & gruyere – absolutely fabulous.  We ate big hunks while finishing up all of our errands. 

chocolate-croissants

Best. Chocolate. Croissant. Ever.

Another thing I like about TB&P is that they use local fresh ingredients whenever possible and the grains are freshly ground.  Arlo doesn’t compromise quality to use local, but he does source his craft from our neighboring states, Ohio and Indiana, when a Michigan vendor is not available.

When I asked Arlo why he chose Tecumseh instead of a bigger city, he said that when he compared the quality of life for bakers in New York City to the quality of life for a small town baker, it was an easy choice. I love that he wants to be the village baker for this tiny little town!

Recently Arlo left his day job to pursue the bakery full time. When I asked if it was difficult to get the wholesale side of the business going (he currently provides breads to 3 Dudes & Dinner, Evans Street Station, Tecumseh Brewing Company, and Cotton Brewing Company in Adrian) he replied that it was actually pretty easy – he just shared a few samples and they were ready to order.  That’s all it would have taken for me!

breads

See that lonely little bun in the front row?  I wanted to stuff the entire thing into my mouth . . . 

The bakery is currently open for business on Tuesday and Thursday, 5:00 am – 11:00 am and Saturday and Sunday 5:00 am – 1:00 or while supplies last.  Arlo and his wife Alisyn are planning to open a downtown Tecumseh storefront this spring and will be open every day of the week.  If you have a chance to go Michigan’s east side, I highly recommend a stop at Tecumseh Bread & Pastry! Be sure to get there early – you don’t want to miss out on the best selection!

 

Stoney Creek Farm

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Leigh and Olin Funderburk at Stoney Creek Farm.  They are Business Impact Partners of Way FM and I heard about their farm while listening to the radio on my way to work. Since I’m always on the look out for new farms to patronize, I signed up to receive their weekly newsletter.  A few days later, I received an email that their U-Pick season was ending on July 23, 2016. 

Since temperatures were supposed to be in the upper nineties, I made sure I was at the farm in Franklin, Tennessee by eight am.  Leigh greeted me as I walked up and told me where the fruits, veggies, and herbs were located and even gave me a glove so I’d be protected from the prickly cucumbers and squash. There wasn’t a huge selection of cucumbers, zucchini, squash or blackberries, but tomatoes, wow, there were a lot of beautiful tomatoes! 

SCF Tomatoes

SCF Grape Tomatoes

After I picked all that I wanted, I spent some time chatting with Leigh and Olin, who are two of the most delightful people I’ve ever met.  They are great storytellers and Leigh’s a pretty good salesperson too – in addition to the berries, veggies, and basil I bought, I also bought some sourdough rolls, a book they’d written, and a temporary tattoo to help support the volunteers on the farm.  The rolls were amazing by the way – I ate several the first day!

The book, Dirt Rich: How To Experience More Joy And Less Stress Through Sustainable Farm Living, tells the story of how they came to own Stoney Creek Farm and what it means to farm sustainably.  Though I’ve only read the first three chapters so far, I’m enjoying their story and their perspective on how to farm successfully. 

Dirt Rich

There’s something about people who farm – there’s a look that comes over their face as they look across their property and the way they admit that it’s not an easy life, but it’s one they wouldn’t trade for anything.  It’s a pleasure to get to know them and feel the connection between what they grow and what I consume.  It seems to me that it’s a holy sort of thing, this connection, something that doesn’t happen when I buy food off the shelf in the grocery store.  

Even though the season is over, Leigh and Olin will continue to offer classes and other events at the farm.  They’ll still have tomatoes for a while so head over to pick some up before the season is done for good!

12 South

What you’re about to read is a complete and total rationalization and justification.  It’s completely out of character and I’m pretty embarrassed about it, but it’s true non-the-less.

Normally I only go to a donut shop if I’m picking up donuts for my team.  Very rarely do I actually eat them.  Normally I would never pay more than a dollar for a donut. Normally I wouldn’t eat a donut for lunch.  Normally I wouldn’t eat donuts twice in one week. 

That was before I took a trip to Five Daughters Bakery on 12 South here in Nashville, Tennessee. One lovely Saturday morning my housemate’s daughter told us about it and said she wanted to go and check it out.  Normally, I wouldn’t tag along – I have some very aggressive savings goals this year and going out for treats is not in alignment with that goal.  But it’s my birthday month and I thought, why not?  And why would I deprive them of the pleasure of my company?  Plus it’s a family business owned and operated by Isaac and Stephanie Meek and their five daughters – how could I not support that? 

Five Daughters Bakery 1

Five Daughters Bakery 2

The stairway to heaven

Five Daughters Bakery 8

Five Daughters Bakery 3

Love their decor!

Five Daughters Baker 4

Waiting patiently in line

Five Daughters Bakery 9

These are not just any donuts – these are donuts just like the ones my Mom used to make.  They are soft and yeasty and delicious and even though I couldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting, I very much wanted to. 

Five Daughters Bakery 10

Donuts just like Mom used to make

Not even a week later, I just happened to be out having dinner at Burger Up’s 12 South location and what do you know?  It’s just down the street from Five Daughters Bakery!  After eating my Woodstock burger (Triple L Ranch beef, Benton’s bacon, Tennessee Sweetwater white cheddar, and Jack Daniel’s Maple Ketchup) and house cut fries, there was only room for a small thin mint cookie popsicle at Las Paletas.  But there was no reason I couldn’t get a maple glazed 100 layer donut from FDB for the next day’s breakfast!

12 South - Burger Up

Almost forgot to take a picture.  I was really hungry, okay?

Las Paletas Menu

Las Paletas Menu

Las Pasitas Popsicle

There are whole thin mint cookies inside this popsicle

It’s possible that I may need to move to the 12 South neighborhood.  In addition to Five Daughters and Burger Up, there’s also a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream location and a Sprinkles, where you can get cupcakes twenty-four hours a day from their Cupcake ATM.  I was going to write a little more, but I think I better take a little break and go to realtor.com and scout out my options.  Stay tuned for my next post where I talk about how I’m mysteriously gaining weight . . .