Every year, I try to work on projects that I have been intimidated by in the kitchen. Last year it was bread. Now, the only bread I buy is artisan breads such as Provence Bread and Bella Nashville. Most every weekend, the kitchen is permeated by the smell of fresh baked bread! So, this year I thought I would try my hand at fermentation and infusions. Limoncello was such a huge hit, that I thought strawberries would be great. The smell of strawberries in that recycled growler was enough to make you want to tromp around in the backyard barefoot in a sundress with flowers in your hair. It tasted like bubble gum and was a little dangerous mixed with a sparkling water and lime. Then there was the peach brandy. Remember I Can’t’ Shut Up? This was my first experiment with fermentation in Granny’s old stone crock. It is starting to mellow now and tastes like a southern peach all covered in dew. Yet, it started out more like prison punch. I used regular baker’s yeast. I have since learned baker’s yeast is not the best choice. Let’s just say the Pank household was a little more pootier than usual. God help us when I go to making kraut in that old crock for the holidays!
Due to the mild summer with plenty of rain, this fall’s apple haul is been star of the show! Stewart Orchard out of Ashland City, TN has some of the best apples around. I picked up a bushel of culls a couple of weeks back at Hip Donelson Farmers Market for a mere $20. Culls are the left over apples that are turning bad and people think they aren’t any count. They are the best ones if you are processing them. This is when they have the highest sugar content. I knew I would need some brewer’s yeast, so off to All Season’s Gardening and Brewing Supply I went. My friend, Patrick, works there and is very knowledgeable about brewing. The one thing that I opted out of was a cider press. Until I knew if I could do this, $200 plus was a little steep for an experiment. I also called my brewmaster friend, James Hudec, for some advice from Alamo Beer. James sent me an EBay link for a cider press. Y’all, I am not cheap, but that is a lot of money to spend on an experiment. “Hell, my KitchenAid Professional 600 could scratch my butt for me if I needed it to. I’ll use the food mill attachment and we will be just fine!” Well, my little experiment ending up costing me more than $200 in time, hard work and a few explicatives, due to my lack of proper tools. One night last week, Pank and I were sound asleep and “Kapow! Is there a burglar in the house? Oh, I know what that noise is. It’s my cider!” Guess who was cleaning her kitchen from floor to ceiling at 5am?
I can’t tell you how many times I have cut, bruised or otherwise injured myself, because I did not use the right tools. One of my life mottos is “stupid should hurt.” I am here to tell you that it usually does. When considering your branding strategy, are you using the right tools? Here are a few questions every small business should consider:
1. How often should I update my website and other media platforms where people find me?
2. What are the networking groups and events that are a good fit for my business model?
3. Do I have an appropriate advertising budget and am I using the appropriate advertising media?
4. Is my content consistent with my brand?
5. Really, do I have a brand that is recognizable?
Corbin In The Dell creates content and strategies to promote brands for chefs, restaurants, artisans and farms that give a damn! Are you using a KitchenAid Professional 600, when what you really need is a cider press?