Around the Table…with Yum Bakery

One of the staples of the Calgary Farmers’ Market has always been Yum Bakery. In light of them making some refreshments (see what I did there?) to their business I caught up with one of Yum’s owners Debbie Catling and she updated us on what exactly is happening in their world.

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How did this all start for Yum Bakery?
“Well, we started out when the market was at the Currie Barracks. We had bought Wanda’s Fine Baking as she was ready to retire. At the time we were selling Stock and Sauce to our partners and we saw a niche with San Francisco-style bakeries. We wanted to bring that homey bakery style with great breads and Macarons to Calgary and the Calgary Farmers’ Market.”

What is your favorite thing about being part of the CFM family?
“Just exactly that, the family. Getting to know the other vendors and seeing other people that are happy doing what they are doing. You get to go to work with people who are passionate  about their own things they are doing here.”


What’s your favorite item that you offer?
“There are a lot of things I can resist now that we’ve been doing this for a while, but there are three things I can’t when they are fresh out of the oven: Our Roasted Garlic Cheese Buns, our Savory Scones, and our Ham and Cheese Croissants.”


Do you have a to-go way you like to eat any of these or a recipe you use them in?
“I like to toast up the Savory Scones and make an Eggs Benedict with them. It’s amazing!”

What are three quick tips you would like to share with market guests?
“1. I think a little-known fact about us is that we don’t add preservatives or additives to anything, particularly our bread. So, keeping it on the counter for more than three days can cause it to mold. Freezing it is a good way to avoid this, not putting it in the fridge though. Putting bread in the fridge makes bread go stale.
2. Our cakes keep really well despite not using preservatives so don’t be afraid to come in and pick something up on a Thursday instead of taking your chance on a Saturday.
3. Order ahead! We make every effort to estimate what will be sold every day. Nobody likes to come in and be disappointed that the thing they are there for is out though, so we recommend calling or emailing ahead of time with orders. We will have your order waiting for you so there is no guess work involved. All that info is on our website.”


Do you have any bakery Words of Wisdom you live by? 
“One of the first things we say to our staff is that we don’t want anything to go to a customer that you wouldn’t 100% want to buy and eat for yourself. If it doesn’t look and taste fantastic, we don’t want to sell it.”



What’s your favorite thing to eat in the market that is NOT from your place?
“Big T’s smoked ribs are one of my favorite things ever, and Taste of Quebec has this fudge…you know, you think since I own a bakery I wouldn’t need anything else sweet, but this fudge is magical.”

Can you tell us about any new projects your working on?
“Yes! We are doing a couple of things actually. One of them is a re-brand, which we hope to have completed by about mid-June. That will consist of new packaging and new products. Our other project is opening up a little place called Jarred. The concept behind Jarred is just that: cheesecake in jars, cookie dough and trifle in jars. There will also be preserves using things that are in season. A lot of our customers at Yum request to buy our sauces like our lemon curd and caramel so those will be sold by the jars as well.
Our launch will be June 8th!”

One last question: If you could be a pastry, what would you be?
“If I could be a pastry I would be a baguette! Long, and thin, and hot!”

..I think we would all like that, Debbie.




Easy Easter Feast

A few things hop to mind when you think of Easter: chocolate bunnies, egg decorating, and ham.  Sure, there are other things that make up Easter, but in terms of food, these three things are pretty prominent.  We wondered how best to offer useful (and delicious) information and landed on: How to Roast a Ham.  It’s dead simple and is a sure-fire way to make every tummy at the table happy.
Plus, we just visited Greg and Bonnie Spragg’s pig farm.  When they offer you a ham, you don’t refuse.  In fact, you thank them gleefully because it’s the most beautiful ham you ever did see.
Ham Collage
Market-Sourced Ingredients


Remember when we said it was simple?  You can’t get a whole lot simpler than three ingredients.  Yes, we know those ingredients don’t include brown sugar and mustard.  There are a few pretty traditional (and still yummy) ham glazes kickin’ around, but we wanted to give you something a little more off-the-beaten-path than the Cola or Pineapple Ginger recipes.  Plus, the only fruit that’s really “in-season” right now are apples and that’s just a little too close to the old-fashioned ham and apple sauce dinner we used to get at Grandma’s.  Why not try something a little different?

Preheat oven to 325F.  Using a very sharp knife, score fat in a diamond pattern.

Meanwhile, stir amber honey with blueberry balsamic.


Place ham in a shallow roasting pan just big enough to hold it. Roast in centre of preheated 325F oven, uncovered, allowing 18 to 20 minutes per pound for a bone-in ham.


Roast ham for 45 minutes before beginning to baste generously with the mixture.  To form a rich glaze, continue brushing with mixture every 15 minutes. Save any remaining glaze. Remove ham to a platter and tent with foil for at least 15 minutes.


If you want to make a bit of a sauce for your ham: add 1 cup of vegetable broth and any remaining glaze to the pot you roasted the ham in. Stir pan bottom vigorously to scrape up all of the flavor-packed browned bits. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat burner on the stove (you can transfer from roasting pan to smaller pot at the point to make it less cumbersome). Then reduce heat to medium and boil gently, uncovered and stirring often, until slightly reduced, from 5 to 10 more minutes. Pour over sliced ham. Meat will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for a week or more.

Now, we know that ham is often served with traditional sides, like scalloped potatoes.  And if you’re an accomplished or ambitious cook, homemade scalloped potatoes are the bomb.  But as we can guess, you’re all very busy and since we’re selling this as an Easy Easter Feast, we suggest checking out the vast and tasty selection of ready-made agrio boxes at the Cherry Pit.

Agrio Boxes Capture

They offer everything from roasted or quick saute vegetables to easy dress and shake salads, all made in-house by their very talented vegetable butcher.  Easter dinner could not be easier.


Want to learn more about Greg & Bonnie Spragg?  Check out our farm feature!

Easter Leftovers

After a busy weekend of hunting for Easter treats, entertaining family and friends, and preparing a big meal, the last thing you likely want to do is more.  More of anything.  But dinner awaits and standing in front of the fridge, gazing at all of the leftovers, hoping they will miraculously whip themselves together into something that passes as a meal isn’t going to help.  Do not despair.  Here, we have for you, two simple ways to use up that Easter ham staring back at you.

Market-Sourced Ingredients:

Leftover Ham from Spragg’s Meat Shop

Smoked Gouda from Sylvan Star Cheese

Edgar Farms Mustard Pickles from Innisfail Growers Co-op

Butter Lettuce from The Cucumber Man

Fig and Fennel Bread from Yum Bakery

Ham Sandwich 1

The best part about this sandwich is that it takes about five minutes to throw together, but tastes like you put a whole lot of thought and effort into it.  Start by cutting the ham into bite-sized pieces to be warmed in a pot.  This is where the sticky leftover bits of glazed ham and fatty rind really come in handy, coupled with a small splash of water, the ham will stay moist as it reheats.

Ham Sandwich 2

Lightly toast and butter the bread.  Top with the smoked gouda, mustard pickles (they’re really quite flavourful, so this is a to-taste preference), a leaf of the butter lettuce, and warmed ham.

Ham Sandwich 3

As you may suspect, this sandwich is a little on the messy side.  You could call it ‘rustic’ if you wanted to cover your bottom, but it would only be fair to warn you that it fast becomes a deconstructed sandwich.  It definitely falls into the category of being a ‘knife-and-fork-required’ kind of meal, but is that a bad thing?  You’ll be glad to have the fork to stab every delicious morsel left on your plate.  You may even lick it clean.  Just sayin’.

And if sandwiches aren’t your thing, or you’ve already had a few this week, you can use the remaining ham (and the bone) as the beginning to a number of great soups.  Making a stock is remarkably simple, and if you have a crock pot (as most Canadians do) they are beyond low maintenance.

Market-Sourced Ingredients:

Leftover Bone-In Ham from Spragg’s Meat Shop

1 bunch of Celery, a few Carrots, 1 bulb of Fennel, 1 sweet onion, 6 cloves of Garlic from Cherry Pit

3-4 Bay Leaves, Thyme, and Ancho Chile Powder from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Salt & Pepper

Turbinado Sugar (brown or raw sugar can be substituted)

Ham Stock 1

It’s as easy as roughly chopping all of the veggies and throwing everything into a crock pot (a pot is absolutely acceptable, but a crock pot allows you to walk away and really have no worry of it boiling over and becoming a hot mess).  Add the bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon of all spices and sugar.  Cover with water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 4 hours on high, and then 6-8 hours on low.  Yes, it takes a long time, but the ham bone needs a little more love than say, turkey leftovers.  As it steeps, the stock will become richer in flavour and gain more depth.

Ham Stock 2

Taste-as-you-go is always a good rule of thumb.  When you’ve reached a spoonful that makes you say “oooh! that’s good!”,  it’s a good sign it’s done.  Let the stock cool and then strain it away from all of the veggie bits and ham bone which will be discarded.  This stock can now be used as a base for the ever-popular split pea and ham soup (like this one by our friend Julie Van Rosendaal), a veggie soup, or even when sautéing vegetables.  And it freezes well for months in a well-sealed container.

Now, how many meals did you get out of your Easter ham this year?  With such beautiful ingredients found at the market, why let it go to waste?