This morning I spent a few hours typing up our recipe book, which by anyone's standards was in desperate need of some prettying up. Over the years, coffee spilled, batch sizes increased, oil choices changed, recipes by volume were scratched out and replaced by the more reliable measure of weight. And of course, the humorous additions that made their way into that old binder: my favorite is the recipe for "The Mallorie Dorflinger," which among other things called for four lbs of caffeine. Mallorie is a previous member of the Perk Team, still part of the Perk family, with tons of energy.
The process of tidying up the recipes left me to reflect on the changes we have made over the years, in pursuit of our mission.
I'd love to fill you in.
Our fruit smoothies have always been made with real fruit (as if there is another kind) and Deerfield Farm's Yogurt. There's no relationship we value more than the one with Melynda from Deerfield, in part because it's one of longest standing, but moreover because Melynda is the real deal. She's integral to the community, incredibly self sufficient, and always fair and kind.
Last year we added a couple non-dairy smoothies. The chocolate almond smoothie is made with Organic and Fairly Traded Cocoa (Equal Exchange). The almond butter we make ourselves with Organic and Fairly Traded Almonds (Equal Exchange) and Organic Coconut Oil. Sweetened with Bee Happy Honey out of Clinton, it's really delicious and packed with wholesome ingredients.
The Green Smoothie is equally as yummy, also sweetened with Bee Happy's Honey (you can meet Ned at the Durham Farmer's Market on Thursdays from 3-6 p.m.). The kale is most often locally sourced, sometimes from my garden, this week from Starlight Garden's Organic Farm on Fowler in Durham.
Several years ago we used to purchase pre-formed frozen cookies, scones and muffins, which really taste great, but have so many undesirable ingredients. Now our cookies, scones and muffins are made from scratch, twice a week by the hard working Theresa and our beloved Hobart Mixer. The chocolate chips and raisins in the cookies are Organic and Fairly Traded and Small Farm Certified (Equal Exchange.) The eggs and milk are from the Connecticut Cooperative "Farmer's Cow."
Canola Oil was replaced by Organic Coconut Oil in our granola, which is also sweetened by Durham Sugar House (Haddam Quarter Road, Durham) delicious maple syrup (the official maple syrup of Perk on Main and Perk on Church.) The brownies also utilize Organic and Fairly Traded Cocoa and Chocolate Chips (Equal Exchange.)
Salsa, hummus, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, granola bars, all of these decisions to make 'in house' were birthed out of a quest for better ingredients, a more transparent product offering and a healthier you.
We have not arrived, we are a work in progress. In many ways, I think we have just begun and then remember we are 12 years in the making. Ask, push, request, engage us in the conversation. We are here because of you, we are here to serve you. Thank you for supporting us.