We spent a hectic — but very encouraging — two days at the Renegade Holiday Sale this weekend. We saw a lot of familiar faces and got to know a great many more. And, just as exciting, we got to roll out a bunch of new Soup & Bread merchandise.
We’ve been busy all fall collecting recipes from our 2010 Soup & Bread cooks — but rather than compile them as a cookbook, we decided to change things up a bit this year. Instead, we ran off a set of recipe cards, 24 in all, bundled into four separate packets of five soups and one bread — a vegetarian pack, a vegan pack, a meaty pack, and a variety pack. They’re printed on nice heavy card stock and decorated with some of Paul Dolan‘s illustrations from last year’s cookbook. We got them back from the printer on Friday and they made their debut at the Renegade fair this past weekend. We’ll be selling them again, at $5 a pop, at the Hideout Holiday Sale on Tuesday, December 14 and 21, from 6-9 PM at … der, the Hideout.
But those 24 recipe cards are just the beginning. As part of our new Soupscription series, we’re planning on rolling out six new cards every month for all of 2011. There’s more info over on the Soupscription page, but we’ve already got recipes in the pipeline for January from chefs Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec, Publican, Big Star) and Jill Barron (Mana Food Bar), as well as some other Soup & Bread stalwarts, including my uncle Roger. Enroll now and for $60 you’ll get one of the original packs mentioned above, plus a new pack of recipes for five soups and one bread in the mail through November 2011, for a total of 60 soups and 12 breads. Each pack also comes with blank card, so you can create your own recipes as well. The button over there on the right takes you to our PayPal account, or sign up in person at the Hideout sale and we’ll hit you with a $10 discount.
AND, if you’re going to start collecting recipe cards, where better to put them than a handcrafted recipe box? We asked our friend Devon Bergman, who’s an ace cabinetmaker, if she wanted to throw together some boxes for us to sell. When we got a look at them earlier this week we were floored. They are so very beautiful — the photos don’t do them justice. Each box is handmade from repurposed wine crates and other salvaged wood and hardware. The one above has handles made from parts of an old piano she found in the alley.
This one has handles made from Champagne corks. The lid, which (obviously) you can’t see, is inlaid with part of a (bronze? copper?) soap mold. It reads, backwards, “Superfatted.” And, frankly, if someone doesn’t buy it soon it’s going home with me.
This one’s from Devon’s “farmhouse rustic” line, with the cute tin “4” on the lid and the seal from a dairy affixed to the front. The alley piano makes a return appearance here as well; piano hammers sanded as smooth as satin serve as the handles.
Here’s a better look at the boxes in action. Seven of them sold over the weekend (they’re $75 each, but they are so worth it) and we’ve got seven left in stock, though I believe Devon is putting the finishing touches on a few more. We will have them all at the Hideout on the 14th and the 21st, but we probably won’t be selling them through the website. If you’re interested in one and can’t make it out to the Hideout, drop me a line and we’ll try and set something up.
And, of course, we still have some of last year’s cookbooks left ($20) — though not very many! — as well as Soup & Bread aprons ($15) and an assortment of Alana Bailey’s awesome silkscreens of Paul’s illustrations from last year ($10). As ever, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of all of this stuff goes to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. If there’s a soup fan in your life, you could do worse.
Soup and Bread 2011 starts January 5 and runs Wednesdays through mid-April at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Soup’s on at 5:30 and served till 7:30 or we run out, whichever comes first. There’s never a cover and kids are always welcome.