Greeting Text

Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Linda & John's 2014 Favorite Food Finds

As often mentioned the downside to owning a cafe is that there not much in the fridge at home.  During the day we're busy preparing food.  Obviously we taste the soups and salads and specials but in quite small portions.  At the end of the day the fridge at the cafe never has any 'leftovers' because there isn't anything left.  And so the conversation goes:  "I'm starving.  There was no time to eat and there's nothing left.:"  "OK, so where to you want to eat?"

In consideration of the last day of 2014 we thought we'd share some of our after hours food choices.

  • Pink Flower:  Vietnamese.  Always friendly and inviting, consistently good with the best egg rolls in
    Pink Flower Egg Roll
    the Twin Cites.  We appreciate the food and the non-buffet friendly service.
  • Mama's:  Just down Rice Street Mama's offers great Italian dishes and pizza in a pleasantly crowded and friendly atmosphere.  Be prepared to sing happy birthday when it starts.  We favor the Deluxe Sampler.
  • Romolo's:  A short drive to the Phalen neighborhood should include dinner at Romolo's.  The owner stops by each table and shows sincere appreciation.  The pizza is very good.
  • Ingredients:  White Bear Lake offers several great dining opportunities and we'd put Ingredients near the top.  Favoring local produce and products, we've never had a bad meal and a recent visit was our top dining out experience of the year.
  • Pezzo:  Just across the street from Cup 'N Cone in White Bear Lake this is a newcomer following a Chicago concept restaurant (Chicago is a food Mecca) offering seasonal salads, a good wine selection and good pizza.
  • Olive's:  Their first location was in Marine on the St. Croix (now closed) but we were happy to find their new location very pleasant (also in White Bear Lake).
  • Cafe Biaggio:  This is a very nice upscale Italian dining experience on University and Raymond.  The grilled Romaine appetizer was out of this world.  The service is phenomenal.
  • Cheng Heng:  Everything is a complex and delightful taste experience in this Cambodian restaurant on University Avenue near the Capital.  The owners are very appreciative and often offer to make special dishes.  Their story of success is part of the American dream.
  • Big Marina Deli:  Northeast Minneapolis offers many venues but this is a hidden gem.  Located in a
    Big Marina Deli
    former 7-11 it's not fancy but it's Middle Eastern buffet is incredible with meats, vegetable dishes and salads not found elsewhere.  We both find the eggplant salad irresistible.
  • Twisted Fork:  This is our Grand Avenue favorite for contemporary American food and has never been a disappointment.  We hate to admit it be we found it on a Groupon deal and re-visit often.
  • Los Ocompo:  When asked "what do you want to eat?" John invariably responds with "a good taco." Obviously that's not what he wants but we head to Los Ocompo (several locations) where traditional food that people from Mexico eat can be found.  Don't expect the standard taco, burrito, enchilada platter of more Americanized versions.
  • Blue Collar Barbeque:  Head north up to Lake Drive to find these veterans of the traveling barbeque competition crowd.  After tiring of dragging trailers and equipment everywhere they've settled down in a recently vacated Asian restaurant and server very good take out barbeque.
  • Taco Truck East 7th & Lafayette:  When we actually do seek out a taco there is a taco truck parked just east of Lafayette on East Seventh (across the street from the Holiday Station) that is really good.  On a summer evening sitting on the tailgate of your vehicle with a few tacos and a Jaritos cannot be beat. 
  • Trung Nam:  On University Avenue near the Capital are the very best croissants in the Twin Cities.
  • Holiday Station Old Fashioned Chocolate Donuts:  We talk a great deal about healthy food and you'll rarely find us in the burger and fries line but we will share one weakness.  Holiday has the best old fashioned chocolate iced donuts to be found.  To Holiday's credit you can also get fruit and a nice Asian salad.  If we have to pick one gas station to eat at this is it.

East to White Bear Lake

Other than Marianne's Kitchen we are at a bit of a loss whenever we are looking for a good meal in Shoreview.  The Monday evening before Christmas we headed to Ingredient's Cafe in White Bear Lake.  The lake level may be at an all time low but Ingredient's sets the bar quite high and we've rarely been disappointed.

We started with the Artichoke Dip and a warm baguette followed by Peas 'N Hay and the Farmer Steak Salad.  

The linguine was complimented with home made sausage, carmelized onions, sweet peas and a parmesan sauce.  We really enjoyed the home made sausage which was flavorful, perhaps a bit dry but...

The Farmer Steak Salad was an absolute delight.  The grilled hanger steak, ordered medium, was tender and very flavorful, perhaps the best steak of recent memory.  The arugula was dressed with a champagne walnut vinegrate.  Both the beef an greens component were satisfying on their own but the quinoa, roasted beet and citrus fruit keep me going from component to component and planning my next trip back.

Offering a limited menu and a changing 'specials' menu Ingredients is great for a fine dining date night but welcoming, too, of more casual visitors.  We showed up without a reservation about 8 PM on a Monday evening and were promptly seated and attended to.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raw Honey

So what's the big deal about "raw honey?"

It all starts with honeybees collecting nectar from blossoming plants and trees.  The worker bee (a hardworking and focused female) enters the blossom and ingests the nectar via a straw shaped tongue, a proboscis.  Mixed with enzymes in the honeybee's stomach it is regurgitated (sorry, but that's how it works) and placed into the beeswax cells or honeycomb in the hive.

During their life honeybees migrate through a series of jobs and duties.  Before beginning the "field bee" or nectar and pollen collecting phase they spend time fanning their wings throughout the hive.  When the nectar is first placed in the comb it has a very high moisture content.  The movement of air through the hive causes the  moisture content to drop and at the correct percentage the bees "cap over" or cover the cell opening with beeswax.

Beekeepers take the comb from the hive, remove the cappings on the cells and
extract or remove the honey.  For the most part honey will last forever.  Honey with an excess moisture content may ferment or crystalize.  Beekeepers historically heat the honey to lower the moisture content and remove any crystals of honey.  Heating also removes some of the flavor,  removes some of the aromas and starts to break down suspended pollen particles.

Raw honey has been not been heated or heated only slightly to facilitate the bottling process.  You may see suspended crystals and pollen and it may already be of a creamy consistency when purchased or may become creamy over a few months.

Honey that contains pollen particles from your local area and may be helpful in providing you with small doses of pollen providing some allergy relief.

As a cautionary note, children younger than twelve months of age should not eat honey.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Confusion Over Tomatillo Salsa

National franchise restaurants are all about "systems."  Franchise restaurants are focused on individual investors or groups of investors who want to be in the food business without really having to know much about food.

When you buy a franchise you don't have to know a great deal (other than how to write check).  The national franchise organization will train you and your staff, provide schedules and procedures for everything involved in operating your new franchise.  If you follow the procedures and you have done your homework to ensure that the local demographics will provide enough "food dollars" you might make a reasonable return on your investment (emphasis on 'might').

In the small business world you work out all the details yourself and you start the day working on your business and end the day working on your business.  That's fine.  If you can deliver a quality product, cover your expenses, meet nice people and give back to your community it is satisfying.

Saturday evening one of us was doing overdue paperwork while another was keeping the ovens going preparing products for another of our outlets (The Chickadee Boutique).  About 8:30 we headed to a nearby fast food vendor (a successful national franchise).  As John ordered his fajita bowl he asked for tomatillo salsa. The guy behind the counter reached for the pico de gallo (fresh uncooked salad with tomatoes, onions, lime, coriander, serranno).  "No, the tomatilla!" Then the person reached for some other red cooked salsa at which point John said "the green salsa."  "Oh, the hot salsa?"  "No, the green salsa.  Green is the tomatillo!"  

Somewhere in the franchisee training program with it's comprehensive set of how to do everything they've missed a chapter on explaining what each of the twelve or so options on the line are.  When you have lunch at  Marianne's Kitchen we know what we are serving, we know who made it, we know who produced it and often where it was grown (we're using up the last of our Leeski Farms  potatoes this month).  That's just part of the difference.  You are part of that difference, too.  That's why we ask your name, where you work or what you are up to?  We try to put together a community, one bowl of soup at a time, one sandwich at a time and one name at a time.

So for the benefit of those who have missed the franchise instructions, the tomatillo is a husk tomato or also know as a Mexican husk tomato.  They are green or purple/green and make a nice 'green' salsa when cooked.  I'm going to drop the franchisee a note with a link to Wikipedia so they can train their employees.  We also sell a tomatillo salsa which is great with chips or on cheese enchiladas.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tobie's of Hinckley

Traveler's headed 'up north' from the Twin Cities head NW towards Alexandria, up 169 past Lake Mille Lacs or up 35W toward Duluth.  Tobie's is an iconic stop along the 35W route halfway between the Twin Cities and Duluth.

First located on historic HW61 which passed through downtown Hinckley they've been located on the east side of town (or a bit west of Grand Casino) since the freeway opened.

Famous for their bakery items, especially the famed caramel rolls it's a nice break on the road trip north.

We're happy to note that Tobie's offers a nice selection of our pickled products and gluten-free dry soup mixes.  Our honey is not available there but you can pick up honey from our beekeeper friend, Wayne, from Honey Hill Farms during your stop.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In Search of a Taco

Saturday evening we had to deliver a couple of people to a party on St. Paul's East Side.  Following the drop off we began the regular "where to eat" debate" which is comprise of  "You pick,"  "No, you pick" 

Options included the Little Oven on East Minnehaha which is good for pizza, pasta, salads and burgers.  Given that the "where to eat" debate started about 7:30 PM we were far past the 2:00 PM cutoff for breakfast, which is reliably good.

 We settled on Los Ocampo on Suburban AV just west of White Bear Avenue and I94.  John had the alambre el gusto comprised of bell peppers, onion, bacon, mozzarella cheese and marinated roast pork served over ten small corn tortillas.  The sliced radishes and lime were a nice compliment.

Typically we head to Central AV in Minneapolis for authentic Mexican food but Los Ocampo was close and offers a good selection of options far from the much too Americanized fare of many restaurants featuring tacos, enchiladas and tostadas and a never-ending list of Marguarita's.  We'd give Los Ocamp 3.5 stars of five overall and 5 stars on service and selection. 

John is always in search of a good taco.  Typically that ends up being at least ten miles from Shoreview.  Over the course of last summer that search led us to a taco & quesadilla mobile operation in a truck parked on the north side of St. Paul's 7th Street just east of the Lafayette Bridge.   It's directly across the street from the Holiday Station.  On the drive home we saw that they are still there, braving the Minnesota winter operating out of a small trailer.

We do periodically have tacos as a daily lunch special at Marianne's Kitchen.  On those days we can assure you that the best tacos in the Twin Cities are at the intersection of CR E & Lexington!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's as much about community and friends as it is about food...

We post many images of food we make and food we like, both from Marianne's Kitchen and other
places we eat.  For those who've not heard the story, Marianne's Kitchen came about in part because we could not find a place to eat in Shoreview but we also wanted to pay homage to Linda's aunt.  It's not just about the food.  We're here because we enjoy putting good, healthy food in front of people but it's the customers who make the difference.  Now in our fourth year we have met a lot of really nice people.  We talk among ourselves frequently about who stopped in and who we've not seen for a while.  When we ask your name, where you work or how your day is going it's because we care.  Often we are asked if we have WIFI.  The answer you will hear is "we have conversation."   Hopefully everyone stopping in enjoys their food but also leaves knowing that this is a friendly place where the 'thank you's' are heartfelt and legitimate.

Saturday was Small Business Saturday courtesy of promotion by American Express.  In this time of Black Friday, big box retailers and national brand shopping and dining it is a challenge to stand out, or even to be seen.  One of the big box stores up the street was selling 1600 big screen TV's a minute (nationally) on Friday.  At the end of our day we remember how many Cubano's or Avocado BLT's we sold and most of the time we remember your name.  When we say "hello," "thank you" or "goodbye" we're not working from a script, simply being sincere.

It's not as much fun being here without our customers.  We miss you but hope you've enjoyed the weekend, resting up or working hard, chilling with friends or family or wrapping up a good book.

Black Friday Six Hour Road Trip

Friday we bailed a bit early from Marianne's Kitchen  to make a quick visit to visit John's Aunt Vi in Albert Lea.  Vi is 98 and doing quite well.  Once in a while we do feature "Aunt Vi's Lemon Bars" as a treat.  You should watch for them.

Vi wanted to know what John was doing when he took this "selfie" in the elevator. As usual he was unable to provide a short answer when explaining it would end up on a blog post which led to a question of what that was.

We shared some banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie from Trumble's from Albert Lea.    The longstanding family joke is never agree to share pie with Vi; she does not share well.  It turns into more of a competition.

On the trip back we pulled into Ellendale (at bit south of Owatonna and about 1/2 mile west off 35W) a bit late and missed the opportunity to sample and buy at Steve's Meat Market.  

The goal was to be back in St. Paul by 6:30 PM.  We adjusted that goal and stopped at the Longfellow Market on Lake Street.  They carry our pickled products and our gluten-free soups.  It's always fun to stop and see your product on the shelf.  Of course John did hit the deli counter and left with a delightful quinoa and edamame salad which did not last long.


Thursday, September 18, 2014


We've had a few posts about Mirlitons and more than a few "what's that?" questions. Once the principle food of the Aztecs and the Mayans it's a pear-shaped vegetable that is very popular in Louisiana cooking...and in Shoreview this week. It's also known as a Chayote, mango squash or vegetable pear.

There are so many great food traditions (other than just 'fast')--we try to bring in some flavors other than the standard burger, fries, pizza, and chicken nuggets. ...and, they taste better. This one has been really fun because you can use mirlitons in soups, main courses, and pie : )

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seed Saver Heirloom Beans at Marianne's Kitchen

We are happy to announce that, while the supplies last, Marianne's Kitchen is offering Seed Savers
Exchange's line of heirloom cooking beans.   These beans have a long history, including Lina Sisco's bird egg beans, brought from Missouri by the grandmother of one of the 6 founding members of Seed Savers Exchange.

We are offering a special on these beans tomorrow and Saturday, unless they sell out earlier.
Here's the info we've posted on our Facebook page (

We are so excited!
We worked with Seed Savers Exchange over the last week and are bringing you their line of heirloom cooking beans. These include tasty beans you've probably never heard of: Good Mother Stallard (their staff favorite flavor), Lina Sisco's Bird Egg, Green Flageolet, Snow Cap, Calypso, Swahili Grey, Tiger's Eye, Painted Pony, and more.
We are making a one time offer - you can buy a 5 lb bag of these wonderful cooking beans for $28 (without having to pay to ship them from Seed Savers). The offer is good tomorrow and Saturday only....or while the supply lasts.
Eat well, support the wonderful work of Seed Savers Exchange, and score great food at a great price.

Our Facebook page also has a photo of a number of the bean varieties.

Thanks so much.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Behind The Scenes: The Dill Pickle Naming Debate

I'm confident that most of our customers know that running a small cafe has its' fun moments because that's what keeps us going.  Behind the scenes there are all sorts of challenges.  Really challenging things like how much bread to bake, did we remember to order lids for the soup cups, where is the paper tape for the cash register, why is there no carbonation in the Cherry Coke, where did we put that case of hot salsa, what are we having for soup and sandwich specials today and on and on.  Two people (Linda & Anne) are there most of the time and John is there not very often which is probably too much.  It's a short list of people who are responsible or who might be at fault.  Now that Marianne's Kitchen is in it's fourth year we know a lot about working with each other more or less seven days a week.

Today was a good example of decision-making, "branding," quality control, etc.  A new batch of dill pickles has been completed.  They are beautiful and remarkably tasty.  Unfortunately it was clear to be challenging day when it started with "What should we call the dill pickles?"  My first thought was "Aren't we calling the dill pickles 'Dill Pickles.'"  That seemed pretty obvious...I thought, but then considered "This might be a trick question.  Maybe we already decided to call the dill pickles 'dill pickles' or we've decided to call the dill pickles something else and I've forgotten."  Dill pickle naming is part of our normal conversation because most commercial pickles do not have any dill, simply chemicals that taste like dill.

It was clear that labeling the dill pickles "Dill Pickles" was not adequate.  Brainstorming started and there were some marginal ideas.  My first suggestion was "Ed & Ed Dill Pickles" after Linda's two uncles (they are brothers).   We all remember the Bob Newhart show with "my brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl."   I thought that suggestion would lead to an argument...I mean discussion about each of our relatives and their contribution to the world or lack thereof.  "OMG Dill Pickles," "Classic Dills,"  "Real Dills,"  "Real Deal Dills," "America's Most Wanted Dills," "24x7 Dill Pickles," "One-A-Day Dill Pickles," "Brenna's Dill Pickles" (after our namesake's grand daughter) were all in the brainstorming effort. "Tasty Dills" came up a couple of times since we were not recording this highly creative work.

After an hour or two of discussing the potential name for the dill pickles we concluded that for the first labeling effort the dill pickles would be labelled "Dill Pickles."  On Saturday we are having a one-day special on the "Dill Pickles."  If you purchase a jar of "Dill Pickles" at  the sale price of $5.95 you can purchase a 12 oz. jar of the British Pub Pickles for $1.00.

Personally, I'd appreciate it if everyone purchasing this deal for dill pickles would also compliment us on naming the dill pickles "Dill Pickles."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One of a Kind is Often Special

Shoreview Dining

Marianne's Kitchen
1 location
  • fewer employees than you can count on one hand
  • new creations all the time
  • we eat what we make, and we're fussy
  • we try to learn your name
  • we care about you and your family
  • it's entirely possible that we offer something different than our competition
Other Shoreview Dining Options

Five Guys 1500 stores and 1000 more in development.

LeeAnn Chin 50 locations

Wendy's 6,650 locations

Dairy Queen 6000 locations

Red Robin 450 locations

Green Mill 27 locations

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making good food choices...

We work really hard at the cafe to use local and regional suppliers and to serve fresh, health food.  Soon we're going to have a good crop of our own blueberries that make it into our salads.  As soon as they're picked they will be cooled and keep that way until presented to you.

Some food vendors buy products from all over the US and appear to take a little less care.  Many of the local farm stands are simply one more corporate outlet.  The big box grocery retailers do a good job of keeping produce cool, mist it frequently, rotate their stock and charge competitive prices.  When you buy from a farm stand make sure you ask the source of the produce, understand when it was harvested,  determine how long it's been sitting out in the sun and ask if it's been stored protected and properly during the night.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let’s talk pickles

For many years, people pickled their vegetables during the summer to make sure there were some kinds of vegetables to eat in the winter, other than potatoes, onions, parsnips, carrots (which could be stored to last most of the winter).  Cucumbers, peppers, peaches, and many other fruits and vegetables were only available during the summer, so people preserved them for use in the winter.  Pickling was one tasty way to do this.

Times have changed.  Fruits and vegetables are flown in from all over the world (lots of food miles) to be available during the winter.   But people have grown to love the taste of pickles...cucumbers (dill, bread and butter, sweet and hot), beets (pickled beets, spiced beets), mixed vegetables (jardini√®re, muffaletta, hot pickle mix), peppers (relish, mixed veggie pickles), even watermelon rinds!

But not all pickles are created the same way. We use wholesome ingredients in our pickles.  Commercial pickles are cheaper.  Why?  Remember the adage---‘you get what you pay for’….well, that explains a lot of the difference.

Most commercial pickles are made with artificial ingredients, such as artificial preservatives, colors and flavors .  For example, many commercial dill pickles contain no dill….only artificial ‘dill’ flavor (sort of like frozen ‘blueberry’ pancakes...they contain ‘blueberry flavored bits’—no actual fruit).   Here’s a list of some common commercial pickle additives:

(information from LabelWatch)
Oleoresin  (flavoring/coloring agent) derived from seeds, roots, leaves, or fruit using solvents such as hexane, acetone, ethanol/methanol, which are removed prior to use.

Sodium Benzoate (preservative) used to prevent bacteria and fungus in pickles.  It is safe for most people, though they can cause hives, asthma, or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  They also negatively affect children with ADHD.
Cautionary Ingredient - This ingredient appears to be problematic.

Sodium Bisulfite (preservative, bleach) prevents discoloration of fruit and frozen potatoes.  It can cause severe reactions for asthmatics.  In the 1980s, 12 deaths were caused by this ingredients in sensitive indivduals as well as less severe reactions in others.  Much ‘fast food’ lettuce is bagged lettuce preserved with sulfites to make it appear ‘fresh’.  The FDA has banned the most dangerous uses of sulfites, but this ingredient still appears in many products.
Cautionary Ingredient - This ingredient appears to be problematic

If you read your grocery store or discount store pickle labels, you’ll often find one or more of these ingredients.  They are an inexpensive way to produce pickles that have the color of traditional pickles or may taste like ‘dill pickles’ even though they contain no dill.  Is this bad?   If you’re not allergic/sensitive to these ingredients, they’re probably okay (except where they may contribute to tissue damage, cancer, etc).  But, really, why risk it?  To save a buck?  What is your health or your child’s health worth?

Our dill pickles contain dill...fresh dill or dill seeds.  We only use American grown garlic (the stuff from China that isn’t properly cured is safe to eat, but it turns neon blue/green when pickled….ewwwww!).  I noticed last week there was a recall of foreign green beans.  But, the green beans had been sold between last May and last July….it took that long to get the word about the problem….hmmm, anyone have any of last May’s green beans sitting around?  Many big box and discount store foods are from other countries (there is no ‘country of origin labeling requirement on many products)…they’re cheap because they are sourced from the ‘low cost producer’ anywhere in the world—usually without regard to labor standards, food safety standards, etc….because ‘cheap’ is what people want and where the profits are.

We use high quality vinegar, cane sugar (beet sugar is genetically modified), local veggies, and real herbs and spices, not artificial flavors.  We think you can taste the difference.

So, that’s our pickle lesson for the day. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cajun Potluck

Crawfish boil, red beans & rice.
Gumbo, andouille, etoufee,
Community Coffee, red velvet cake,
Caf√© du Monde, sugared beignet…

We are sad to bid farewell to another family owned independent business in Shoreview….Cajun Potluck.

Claudia brought a little bit of Cajun country to the northern suburbs…a little spice, some great music, a crawfish boil, and a place for the community to gather.  We hope that everyone had a chance to visit Cajun Potluck over the last five years and enjoy some spicy andouille or to take home a beignet mix or bag of coffee from Baton Rouge.
As a community we are all poorer when we lose the opportunity to visit a business created with a person or family’s vision of something interesting, something that brings their personal life experience to their neighbors.  

When I travel around the country, it sometimes becomes difficult to remember which city I'm visiting---they all are starting to look alike—rows of big boxes, all the same (….like the old song lyrics “there’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one, and they’re all made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same”)---only on a 50,000 square foot national or international scale.   I like to seek out the independent places…sometimes great, sometimes not….but at least a little unexpected, offering a sense of anticipation.    Or you could just have a thawed out meal at another chain.  I prefer the former.

So, to Claudia, thanks for the memories and the experience.  We love the vision and experience you brought to us and wish you all the best.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

We're not just about food...

Our specials of the day included a salami sandwich on Kalamata Olive bread.  We also had those rolls, a very nice pumpernickel bread and an organic sourdough available for our customers, who are also our friends, to take home.

We know a lot of our customers by name and we often know what they are going to eat because some of them are pretty predictable.  That's certainly not a bad thing; John eats the avocado BLT almost every day.  In that spirit of predictability we can usually assure you that we'll be friendly, interested in you and hopefully we'll find something to laugh about.

Behind the counter can be interesting.  Being committed to a standard and attempting to get food out quickly and putting a happy face on operations can take it's toll.  We have a few constant points of conflict between Linda, Anne and John.  They are quite funny when I try to explain them:

  • never-ending conflicts about whether a soup cup is too full or not full enough
  • arguments about whether our "to go" orders should have napkins at the bottom of the bag or the top
  • how many words should we use to describe our daily specials
  • Facebook posts that are too wordy
  • Facebook posts should always have photos (or not)
  • It goes without saying that we argue about hours of operation all the time
  • "You talk too much to customers" or "You don't talk to customers enough"
  • Pantry shoppers:  "ask them if they need help" versus "leave them alone"
  • take all orders at once or drag it out tactfully
  • whether ketchup should be banned or offered

Indulge & Enjoy

 We eat everything we sell.  The brandy jams are, in Anne's word, "super!"  We're often partial to the hot pepper jellies later in the day, but when it's morning, you're facing another day with the challenges as life often presents them, a dollop of brandy jam on your toast (or just on a spoon) might make the sun shine, even on a cloudy day.


A Couple of Thoughts From Behind The Counter...
  • Customer:  "How long will this last?"
  • MK Staff     "What's wrong with you?" or "Not long once you taste it?"

  • Customer:  "How do you eat this?"
  • MK Staff:  "With a spoon."
 Our Facebook Post About Brandy Jams
"...was going to describe how to use brandy jams tonight--they are great on pork loin or duck, etc. For pork loin, use about a half cup of apricot or peach brandy jam, heated slightly, and mixed with a little mustard or dry mustard. Brush on before roasting, then use the remaining amount to baste again halfway through roasting.
But, I just read the review by Cynthia E (on the right side of the page)...and I like her idea the best.....right out of the jar with a spoon!!!!
p.s. you can have this for breakfast because the alcohol burns off during the jam-making process so you're just getting the concentrated brandy and real fruit flavors-hope that doesn't disappoint anyone : )"