Saturday, May 16, 2009

They're Baaa-ck!

Look what I spied this afternoon in a grocery store...

Archway Dutch Cocoa Cookies Are Back!

Yup, that would be a package of Archway Cookies!!

Back in October 2008, the private equity firm that owned Salerno, Mother's Cookies and Archway shuttered the bakeries, filed for bankruptcy and fired all the folks that baked those cookies in the ubiquitous red and yellow package. By November, just when all of us were looking for our Mexican wedding cake, cherry nuget, and our pfeffernusse for the holidays, the last of the stock of the original soft supermarket cookies were gone.

In December a secret Santa came to town in the form of Lance Snacks, who not only bought the assets of Archway BUT also immediately rehired people who lost their jobs, gave them $1500 gift cards to get through the holidays, and started the ovens again.

The good folks at Lance said that getting production back up and running would be a long term process and that it may take them six months to get Archway back in all the stores. Now I know, making cookies are easy, but if you have to have a store bought cookie, there isn't a better cookie than Archway, Mothers, and Salerno. I'm glad to have them back.

I've always been a fan of Lance Snacks, having grown up with their peanut butter on cheese crackers in my lunch box, in the picnic basket and the hiking backpack. I always keep a pack or two in my travel bag as emergency rations. But their good will towards the workers of the bakeries affected by the bankruptcy and the slow restarting of the bakeries made me search out Lance's other snacks.

By the way, Lance was the only peanut butter cracker not affected by the recall of peanut butter. They don't outsource their peanuts and make their own peanut butter to keep quality control high.

In this day and age when we are bombarded by news of our food companies outsourcing their ingredients, having to recall large batches because of lax oversight on both the government and the companies, it is nice to see that at least one food company in the US has some morals.

Now on to some bread business.

I'll bet you think I've forgotten all about the Bread Baking Babes Buddies this month. I'll bet you think that I forgot that I was host kitchen and owe you all a round up of the fantastic Injera that you all made. I mean it has been almost a month!!

Never fear, I haven't forgotten about you all. Work was a bit crazy this week and now I'm out of town to deliver the Day of Bread Baking with Breadchick prize from last years Menu for Hope. The round up will be on Monday. Promise!!

Also, for those of you who had any doubt that I was absolutely out of mind and in serious need of therapy and a rubber room, this little news flash will cure you of your delusion...

I joined that crazy group of folks from all over the world who are baking their way through every recipe in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice with Nicole at Pinch My Salt. I baked the first bread and I'm telling you, if I had to pick one bread to live on for the rest of my life, this one just might be it. I'll be showing you what I mean on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, those wild and crazy gal pals of mine, the Babes, will be showing you what we've been up to this past month. I'm not giving anything away but if bread had a yoga pose, what we did this month might qualify.

Heck, since we are on a roll (get it, roll...he-he, bread humor), let's really knock you out by offering up an installment of "Ask Breadchick" next week!

So, get those questions in to me. I'll answer them on Friday before we all take off for the Memorial Day weekend and the official start of Summer. Now if only the weather would co-operate. It's going to be 40 where I am tonight. Brrrr.....