Any time there’s a family gathering around the corner, my phone dings regularly with our group chat discussing the final menu for the weekend. Sound familiar?
Food brings people together. It has for centuries. This is something we’re passionate about as a business, because there’s so much love that can be shared through food. There’s so much learning that can happen, and so much tradition that can be passed along.
I think that each family and friend group has a food philosophy, whether they realize it or not.
That food philosophy might be the K.I.S.S… “Keep It Simple Stupid” approach, and that’s great. We like simple. But if your KISS philosophy is looking for some inspiration, here are three pillars that guide our family’s food philosophy.
Our passion for food and family recipes has been passed down through generations. Now that our family has a new little generation, we always try to plan something for the kids to help with. Sometimes that’s decorating a cake, making popsicles, or a little-themed appetizer plate.
There are always treats and special foods... and lots of Voyageurs Bakehouse goodies. The more we become passionate and curious around the table, the more we've focused on quality foods. Knowing where the vegetables and meats come from, and making sure there is something for every type of food preference gives us all something to feel good about putting in our bodies.
3. Family Share Style:
Big bowls of salads, baskets of bread, boards of meat and cheese. Family style eating is something we practice as much as possible. Of course at family gatherings this is also the easiest way to serve many people.
An example of putting this philosophy into practice was our 2020 4th of July menu. It reflected all 3 of our pillars, and lent itself to a cheerful and vibrant family celebration.
Toasted Sugar & Spelt Angel Food Cake with Toppings
An absolute classic for the 4th of July weekend, but with a couple of fun twists.
This Angel Food cake was made with 20% whole grain Spelt flour from Meuer Farms, toasted sugar which tamed the sweetness and added notes of caramel, and real vanilla bean that was seen in little black flecks throughout the cake.
Accompanying the cake was a container of blueberry (accented with lemon & thyme) sauce, local strawberries, and whipped ricotta cream. This was the perfect cake to put together with kids, grandkids, or friends.
Sourdough Rye Brownies
These brownies perfectly fit our pillar of being qualitarian because they were made with the absolute best ingredients. Yes - they were a total treat, but there's something that is so much more satisfying about a treat when it's made with the BEST ingredients.
First, these brownies were made with our sourdough starter, Jude. The brownie mixture was left to ferment for 2 hours, giving the brownies a unique depth of flavor.
Additional ingredients included pasture-raised organic eggs, Pine River European Style Butter, whole grain rye from Meuer Farms, the finest organic cocoa powder from Saco in Middleton, WI, and melted Ghirardelli chocolate chips. We were pretty proud of the final product, knowing that you’d be hard pressed to find a brownie made with better ingredients. And according to customer reviews, they tasted the difference.
#3: Family Share Style
Create Your Own Charcuterie Board
There's nothing better than a gorgeous charcuterie board. It's collaborative, provides variety, and allows everyone to taste many unique things.
At the time, our take out cooler at the Bakehouse was brand new, and we stocked the shelves with a variety of meats, cheeses, spreads, and crackers. We sold things like Casale Prosciutto Parma, Waseda Summer Sausage, and Pastorale Blend from Sartori cheese, as well as Voyageurs Salmon Pate, White Bean Hummus, and Sourdough Crackers (most of which is still available at the Bakehouse and on our pre-order menu).
With a variety of these items and a few different kinds of Voyageurs bread, customers were able to customize a beautiful charcuterie platter to bring guests together around the table.
I feel fortunate to be able to apply our family food philosophy to our daily work, and that it extends to our customers' homes and greater community. If you’re curious to learn more about the philosophy behind Voyageurs, click here to read about why we do what we do.
I’d also love to hear from you. Comment below with some of the things your family gives attention to when gathering around the table.