Baked Goods Fresh From...the Farm!
**WARNING** This post is likely to cause cravings that can only be satisfied with a trip to Trinity Valley!
Last year, my friend Christa shared the facebook page for Trinity Valley, a [relatively] new farm stand which happens to be just a few miles down the road from my house. Being a small business owner, I immediately liked their page and had the best intentions of shopping there. By liking their page, I was subjected to posts about which fresh baked goods were coming out of the oven and, even worse, mouthwatering pictures. Almost every morning, I envisioned working a visit into my day. Unfortunately, as a photographer and the co-owner of The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques, my schedule is full from September through December 27th and this year was no different. However, just before Christmas, I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of Trinity Valley and photographing their two young children (thank you, Christa!). Again, I made a mental note to go check out Trinity Valley the minute I got through the holiday season.
Yesterday, I finally made the easy, quick trip over to Trinity Valley.
My first mistake was going there when I'd skipped lunch.
My second mistake was going with the intention of picking up some cheese---nothing more.
My third and biggest mistake was not visiting Trinity Valley months ago.
The friendly young woman behind the counter didn't blink as I grabbed the last two plates of cinnamon rolls and placed them on the counter. She wasn't phased when I asked for half moon cookies, inquired about and then asked for the raspberry oatmeal bars. She simply nodded in polite agreement when I said that I couldn't not get my husband the carrot cake bar. Something told me that she has witnessed this type of baked-goods-mania before.
When I mistook beef suet for beef bones (hey, they were together in the freezer), she didn't break out in hysterical laughter but simply said, "Let me get you bones, this isn't what you want for your dogs."
So, armed with bags of baked goods, plates of cinnamon rolls, chocolate milk and gigantic beef bones, I headed home.
Now, this is where I impress you with my self control.
When I unpacked my bags, I cut a cinnamon roll and placed it on a plate. I slid it across the counter, inspecting it carefully. I lifted the plate, smelled the cinnamon roll and then set it down. Don't try this at home. Next, I cut a corner off of the carrot cake bar and slid it onto the plate. Ditto on the raspberry oatmeal bar.
So, there in front of me was a plate of sweets. I added a half moon cookie.
I made a cup of coffee.
I placed the sweets on my dining table and stared at them. Any normal person would dive in, nibble or at least lick the cinnamon bun icing from their fingers. Any normal person. But not a photographer. I grabbed my camera.
I think I was meant to be a food photographer. There is something completely calming about photographing food; perhaps, it is because I don't need to do back flips to coerce a smile or simply because I don't need to talk at all while I work?? I adjusted the lights above my dining table, turned on some music and sipped my coffee. I set my camera and snapped.
Carrot Cake Bars...
When I cut the carrot cake bar, I noted that it was moist but not mushy, which is perfect.
I love the way well made cakes photograph.
You can see the moist (not mushy), fluffy texture but when you pick it up, you know that the carrot cake is more dense than fluff.
Carrot cake is a warm, light spice color with bits of orange (no surprise) carrots.
The icing, though I am still not 100% certain, I suspect is a cream cheese icing.
Unfortunately, the healthiest thing about carrot cake is the name, but this isn't a health and fitness blog, so let's move on.
The Raspberry Oatmeal Bar was definitely difficult to resist.
I love oatmeal and I love raspberries!
Like any good oatmeal bar, this one wasn't hard or crispy-- but chewy.
It was the most challenging to resist and to photograph.
I love the contrast between the neutral brown sugar, baked oats and the deep red of the raspberries but the oats make clean cuts impossible and the bar looks a little "rough around the edges."
Thankfully, the appearance doesn't change the taste....right?
I was wrong. The cinnamon rolls were the hardest to resist.
When I first walked into Trinity Valley and picked up the cinnamon rolls, I knew they were the made-from-scratch-dense-and-rich rolls that only grandmothers and aunts can truly make well.
I'm not usually a fan of iced cinnamon rolls but this icing was more like a thick glazing than an icing. No, I didn't lick my fingers. But, just cutting through (and tearing off) an iced cinnamon roll tells you a lot about the roll and the icing. Unfortunately, in the first picture, you don't see the "chalky" texture of the icing, so it looks a little more like icing versus glaze.
The cinnamon rolls, aside from their perfect weight, smelled absolutely heavenly. Cinnamon is one of those baking smells that seeps into your nostrils and warms you from the inside out.
I continued to sip my coffee as I considered swapping plate (props) for the cinnamon roll.
Glass? The cinnamon roll is too big for the small base of the wine glass (which I'm using for this shoot). I do love that you can see the cinnamon swirled into the roll in this shot!
Wood? I think I prefer the wood prop used in the pic below; I placed the cinnamon roll atop an upside down antique wooden bowl.
Sorry. The half moon didn't make it into this shoot...
It isn't that I wasn't able to resist eating it...
As I was contemplating how to set up the half moon cookie, my Dad came over. And, what do you say to someone who walks into a table graced with elegant and inviting baked goods?
"Sorry, these are only subjects for my pictures. There are pistachios in the cupboard-help yourself."
So I put down my camera and warmed the cinnamon roll (pictured above)-- thirty seconds in the microwave and the glaze-icing melted, dripped down the sides of the roll and left little dipping puddles at the bottom.
Armed with two forks, we dug into one of the most heavenly cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted. It was out of this world!
Late last night, I did sample the "subjects" and a half moon cookie.
Hands down, the cinnamon roll won my vote, followed closely by the incredible half moon cookie (anyone remember the popular Home Dairy Half Moons?? Yep, just as good!).
My dad liked the half moon cookie best, followed by the cinnamon roll and the two bars (which all took a close second).
My husband chose the carrot cake bar as his number one.
And, the puppies? Well, the puppies voted the beef bones number one!!
So, whether you are just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth or picking up sweets for your sweetie (keep in mind Valentine's Day is coming and baked goods beat chocolates!) or if you are having company and want to impress them with homemade desserts-- head over to Trinity Valley!
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shana your photos are beautiful and given that the owners of Trinity Valley are my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, niece and nephew-in-law, I found this so touching! Thank you for supporting them! Stop by Saturday morning for a homemade glazed pretzel, salty and sweet, it will blow your mind!!!!
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