This month’s recipe—Peach Blueberry Thyme Cobbler—comes from Craft Lake Foodie; Indulge Eats. Indulge was officially launched by Emily Park on Pi Day (March 14) 2015. Originally a photographer, Emily found that her true passion led her to creating unique recipes with fresh ingredients from scratch. Emily started the company to feed her creative juices that were constantly coming up with ideas and flavor combinations. When she isn’t in the kitchen, Emily is a member of an all-female home brew club, The Hope bombshells, which focus on education through experiments, lectures, and demos. Her artistic skills also extend to knitting, gardening, drawing, and playing music. Her mission with Indulge Eats is to make fun treats for anyone, using the same fresh ingredients she’s fallen in love with. Look for these delicious treats at the DIY Festival next month!
How did your business get its start?
Although food was always important to me, I came to cooking a little later than most. Originally, I was a photographer and I worked on movies. Cooking was more of a hobby that I picked up in between jobs. Eventually, I decided that while I loved photography, it wasn’t what I felt most passionate about. So I packed everything up and moved to NYC. I went through an intensive program for six months, followed by jobs in New York, Virginia, Minnesota, and Utah. Throughout all of it was a drive to find great flavors and use as many local ingredients as possible. I blame the good, fresh food from my youth and one of my earliest mentors.
While I was working in NYC, I had a chef that would create recipes out of thin air. The first thing I tried of his was a Shiitake Mushroom Ice Cream with a Miso Caramel Sauce. It sounds absolutely bizarre, but I swear, it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. For a kid who grew up in the Midwest, it was an awakening.
What is your favorite thing about your business?
My favorite thing about the business is getting to create and play with new, fun flavors. Especially when there are so many great local ingredients to choose from. I use honey, dairy, coffee, tea, jams, fruit, veggies, herbs, oils, even bitters, and all from within 50 miles of Salt Lake. (#shoplocal)
I also love seeing how the industry has changed. When I first moved out here about 13 years ago, there was not a lot of food that made me excited to eat. I remember a lot of chains and not much variety. During the two years I was out of state, as well as the year or so before I left, something started to change. It felt like the community was starting to experiment with more styles and flavors. People were starting to develop a taste for more interesting food. By the time I got back, the scene was worlds away from where it had been a decade earlier.
What advice would you give to those just starting out their own business?
Be prepared to fail. Hard.
My first market day ever was a disaster. I got up at 5:00 am, loaded the car and drove an hour to get there. I knew no one, so nobody talked to me. I had been so focused on getting my product made that I had no displays. My product sat flat on a table. I had no signs, so crowds of people walked past my booth. I didn’t even sell enough to pay for my gas. I was crushed. Convinced that starting my own business was the biggest mistake of my life, I thought about canceling the market I was supposed to do the next day. Instead I went out, bought a couple of wooden crates and a chalk board, and cheered myself up by eating my feelings.
Getting up the next day was hard. I dreaded a repeat of the day before, but it could not have been more different. I had friendly neighbors, people stopped at my booth, and I sold five times what I had sold the day before. I felt relieved.
You are going to fail, but I promise you that you will learn from it and be better for it.
Why do you think it’s important to shop locally?
The connection and impact that you can make when you buy from a local maker is powerful. It makes a world of a difference for the person you buy it from, and meeting the person who made your food or art or jewelry or bag makes it mean that much more. They can tell you how it’s made, where they get their materials and why they do what they do. Their story and passion is just as important as the thing you buy.
As a vendor, I love the chance to talk to customers directly. Getting to watch someone try my food for the first time is one of the greatest benefits of the job.
As a customer, I enjoy learning about each maker’s passion and history. It takes a lot of love and hard work for them to do what they do, and even more courage to put it out into the world.
There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into a small business. There are a lot of days—and a few long nights—where you start to question your sanity and curse the day you started. Yet after all of it, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
How has participating in Craft Lake City and other small markets helped your business?
I have met some of the most passionate, creative, and driven people I have ever known. I am lucky enough to call many of them my friends. A couple of us even get together for businesswomen brunch whenever we have time and bounce ideas around for a few hours. Always be nice to your neighbors because they may become your braintrust.
What were your goals starting out?
My main goal was just to break even! Beyond that, I wanted to see if people would respond to what I was doing. Friends are great and I have a long line of taste testers, but the most valuable feedback for me comes from complete strangers. That honesty is priceless.
Where do you see your business going?
I want to continue having fun, playing with food, and introducing people to things they might never have tried before. Eventually, I want to open a local co-op type store where people can take classes from a variety of local artisans . Education has always been important to me, and I come from the lifelong learner school of thought.
Peach Blueberry Thyme Cobbler
For the fruit filling:
2 1/2 to 3 cups peaches
2 1/2 to 3 cups blueberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
For the cobbler topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and slightly cooled
Start a campfire and let the flames die down until the coals glow red with white ash, preheat the grill to medium heat, or set the oven to 375°F.
Peel and pit the peaches. Cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Mix together with blueberries and thyme.
Transfer the fruit to 10” cast iron pan. The fruit should fill the dish halfway to three-quarters full, leaving about an inch for the cobbler topping.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt for the cobbler topping. This can be pre-mixed if making at campsite.
Add the melted butter into the dry mix.
Mix together to form a crumbly dough. The topping will be quite sandy and crumbly, but should hold together when you pinch it. If not, add a little more flour. If too dry, add more melted butter.
Sprinkle the dough over the top of the fruit. Alternatively, create palm-sized disks about 1/2-3/4 inch thick and place them on top of the fruit, overlapping to create a cobblestone look.
Cook for 45 to 55 minutes over the campfire or grill, covered with a lid or aluminum foil. Make sure to rotate the cobbler every 10-15 minutes. If over the campfire, rotate the coals and add logs if needed.
If using the oven, bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Place the cobbler on a baking sheet to catch drips, or place aluminum foil beneath it in the oven.
Bake the cobbler until the topping turns golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling. Let the pan cool for a few minutes. Make sure to handle the cast-iron with a towel or hot pad.
Serve with creme fraiche, ice cream, or just dig in!
Serves 6-8 people
Note: This Peach Blueberry Thyme Cobbler can be served at room temperature or the next day. Cover and refrigerate the pan with any leftovers.