Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Day in the Life of Me, The Yummy Yank - A Photo Shoot for Sainsbury's Magazine

Yesterday could have been a very typical Tuesday with me prepping for my upcoming market at The Source in Leeds City Markets, catching up with paperwork, doing the necessary things I do on a day to day basis.  But yesterday wasn't a typical day at all!  It was as untypical as it could possibly get.  I had a photo shoot for Sainsbury's Magazine.  They are going to do a case study of me in an upcoming issue.  Exciting?  I'd say so!  I was jumping out of my skin!

This all came about several months back when my daughter,( ) introduced me to a journalist who had an idea for an article about successful home baking businesses, took 3 case studies to the editors of Sainsbury's Magazine for approval and voila, the article was accepted and so was I!  I had the interview back in March or April and the photo shoot was to be arranged.  I finally got the call saying that Lisa Linder, the fabulous photographer would be making her way to me on the 14th of August.  I was so excited and so nervous!

I was very organised.  I baked my little heart out on Monday prepping for the photo shoot.  I made all of my different variety of bars, cake layers and cheesecake layers.  They wanted to start the photos with me baking, as well as shooting my normal daily Yummy Yank routine. 

Lisa, the photographer arrived at 9.30am.  We sat down and wrote a list of how we were going to proceed.  First I would bake.  I made my peanut butter brownies. As part of my prepping and organising, I had all of my ingredients measured out and ready to prepare.  Nothing was in packages, everything was in bowls, making my life easier and less chaotic.  I am somewhat of a chaotic baker, in fact, chaos could be my middle name, so this really helped everything move ahead smoothly.  I'm beating my eggs with the rest of the ingredients by hand, pouring my rich dark chocolate into the bowl, being told to pour in slow motion to get good shots, mixing, dabbing, mixing, blending, getting the pan into the oven.  Every move was documented on camera.  So far so good!

Next I took the layers of my Legendary Chocolate cake, along with the layers of my Peanut Butter Cheesecake, made my chocolate frosting and proceeded to assemble my cake.  I was praying it would all go to plan.  My cake/cheesecake combination cakes can be somewhat tricky and it would be my luck it would all go horribly wrong.  Again, every step was photographed,  First I made the frosting, step by step was shot, then one layer, frosting, next layer (hoping cheesecake cooperates and comes out of the pan easily) frosting, next layer, frosting and then the final layer of cheesecake.  All to plan so far.  Then I trimmed around the whole diameter of the cake, evening it all out so it stands nice and straight.  All the scraps went onto a piece of foil and photographer Lisa ate them.  After all, they were just going to get tossed!  That job is all done and now I frost.  Since the cake was just right, frosting it is a piece of cake - literally!  After I frost with my Legendary Chocolate Frosting, I drizzled my chocolate ganache and peanut butter in a chaotic, but artsy fashion over the top with the two cascading nicely down the sides.  On top of that, all kinds of delicious goodies just to finish it off nicely.  Gorgeous!  The cake looked impressive and turned out just as I had hoped. Phew!  Reading back this last paragraph, oh my, I am possessive of MY ingredients! Have you ever noticed Yummy ends in MY?  Just saying!!

Next was to photograph me in business mode.  This article isn't just about baking, it is about how I turned my baking into a successful business.  I labelled bags, made gift bags, which I have to admit, Mr Yummy Yank does so much better than me.  He is meticulous and guess what, I am not!  However, they were fine.  I took my wicker hearts, raffia, labels and created the gift bags.  No problem!  Invoices were on the table along with business cards, boxes with my logo on top, price lists, schedules - everything to do with The Yummy Yank!  Again all to plan!  Except when I ran upstairs to get my iPad for the next bit of this journey, I noticed I had a huge streak of chocolate going down my right cheek! Typical!  Let's hope they can Photoshop that out!

After the photos at home were complete, we took a ride to The Happy Camper in Bishopthorpe, where I supply brownies, peanut butter brownies and pecan pie bars.  This is a lovely site.  It consists of a campsite and is also home to York Marine services, where one can rent a canal boat and travel along the River Ouse.  Sitting on this site is a wonderful American style silver Airstream camper, where lovely Tyler and co serve up food, drinks, ice cream and my desserts.  On this part of the photographic journey, we were shooting me making a delivery, handing over the invoice, getting paid, everything to do with a wholesale delivery.  However, I didn't really have a delivery to make there, as we delivered there late last week.  We pretended and smiled and chatted and hammed it up for the camera.  With a setting like this in the sunshine, you can't help but have a good time. 

After we finished with the delivery photos, Lisa the photographer had me go to the decking down by the river and work on my iPad.  I don't really have to sit at my desk anymore and work on my computer, have iPad will travel and I did.  I took my shoes off, dangled my feet in the beautiful Ouse River, had a drink by my side and "worked" on my iPad.  What did I do?  I tweeted!  I tweeted about my photo shoot.  I have to admit, I don't usually work with my bare feet dangling in the river, with ducks at my feet in the glorious sunshine.  I wish I did this on a daily basis, but sadly I do not.

Next stop was Kirkstall Abbey where I do two markets a month. Of course there wasn't a farmers market on a Tuesday, as Kirkstall Deli Market happens on the last Saturday of the month and is also happening on the last Sunday of the month as well.  However, wonderful Mark Kilvington, who organises the markets, set up a stall for me in the middle of the cloisters of the Abbey and I set up, just as I would do on a farmers market day.  Again, I was photographed every step of the way.  Photographer Lisa took shots of us unloading, setting up my stall, putting up my banner, had my cakes and bars sitting against the gorgeous old stone of the Abbey walls, capturing all that goes into a market.  The setting is magnificent and I have to say, my cakes looked gorgeous with the cloisters as their backdrop.  As I was setting up, people who were visiting the Abbey came up to my stall and bought, which made for nice photos, but also was a nice little bonus for me as well.  I wouldn't mind setting up shop there on a daily basis.  The setting is just so beautiful and the people are so lovely.  After we finished with the stall, Lisa took photos of the banners advertising the markets and pictures of me and Mark chatting with the beautiful River Wharfe in the background. By this time it was after 4pm and we still had another stop to make!

Our final stop was to Leeds City Markets in Leeds City Centre at a stall called The Source.  The Source showcases local producers and their products and I have a regular twice a month slot.   I'm there on the first and third Saturdays of the month.  Again, this was not a Saturday, so we had to act.  Since we were running so late and had such a full and productive day, we didn't open up The Source, but just shot me carrying in a tray of my pecan pie bars.  The market in general was the backdrop and since The Source is across from Brian's Flowers, Lisa took photos of me talking to lovely Lydia who is a florist there.  Again, the building is magnificent and it was photographed in all of its Victorian splendour.

We finished up the day at nearly 4.45pm with Lisa having only moments to catch her train back to Kings Cross Station in London.  She made it, leaving me to beam with pride and generally feeling very pleased with myself!  It was a fantastically fun day!  It wasn't over yet.  While going home, I had my handy little iPad with me, so I checked my email.  In and amongst all the junk that I receive was a mail informing me that my Pecan Pie Bars have qualified to the next round of The Yorkshire Taste Awards.  How exciting is that?!!!  My day was going from great to "CRAZY GOOD."  It just doesn't get any better than this.

I don't have an issue date yet for Sainsbury's Magazine and I don't know if my Pecan Pie Bars will go any further in the Taste Of Yorkshire Awards, but I can promise you one thing, I will keep you updated about both!  The article in Sainsbury's Magazine is a given, I will be featured!! YAY!  Let's hope my bars go on to the next step as well.  I felt like a real celebrity yesterday and it sure felt good!  All of my hard work is paying off and I love it! I have the best job in the world!

As always folks, thanks for reading and Y'all have a nice day!

Lisa aka The Yummy Yank


  1. Oh Wow!!! Well done lovely! You must be so proud of yourself & quite rightly too! :o) xx

    1. Thanks so much! It's all a bit overwhelming! Hope you are well! xx

  2. Fabulous, Lisa! You've accomplished so much.
    Love you, Ar

    1. Thanks so much Ar! I am very excited! Lots of good stuff happening! Hope you are well.
      Love you,

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  4. I'M SO PROUD! This is amazing, well done honey. xxx