Memories are funny things…and not all of them good. But that is okay. Every moment leaves an imprint on our lives and, good or bad, those memories are triggered by small things. Like blueberry muffins.
Now I realize the blueberry muffins are a strange trigger, but they play a big part in an amazing 2 days at the Hualapai Mountain Resort Arts and Crafts Fair in August 2011
After years of taking treats to work, I was finally convinced to put a booth in a craft fair, and the biggest one in the Northern Arizona community we lived in was the Hualapai Mountain Resort Arts and Crafts Fair.
I started planning a menu of products to bake and take, warring with myself about staying to traditional flavors or introduce the general public to some of my not so typical flavor combinations.
I ultimately settled on a good combination of traditional and adventurous. Cupcake flavors leaning to the adventurous, with cinnamon rolls and muffins for those who preferred to stay in the safe lane.
After recruiting 1 husband, 2 daughters and a very tiny granddaughter, I finalized a menu of 6 cupcake flavors, brownie bites, cinnamon rolls and 2 flavors of muffins..banana and blueberry.
We baked, decorated, packaged and labelled enough product for the 1000 expected craft fair attendees and headed to the Hualapai Mountain Resort very early on a Saturday morning in August.
Now, having absolutely NO experience with setting up for a craft fair, we erred on the side of having too much rather than too little product. So naturally it took a good deal of time to unload a pickup and SUV of tables, chairs, EZ up (in this case, not so ez up), display cases (which husband had made) and product.
We had a lot of interest in who we were and what “craft” we had for sale from the other vendors. Many were very happy to see food that wasn’t the normal flavored olive oils and jerky, so we did have some early sales of cinnamon rolls and muffins to them.
FINALLY!!! We managed to get everything set up and, like a thoroughbred horse in the starting gate, we were just twitching with anticipation for the first customers to start meandering by.
As people started to trickle in, we had some interest, but most just glanced and walked right on by. The beautiful granddaughter was excited about all the fun crocheted animals at the next booth and we had to keep calling her back. Everyone thought she was adorable (she was 8 at the time, so very adorable) and we decided to use that to our advantage and set her out in front of the booth to engage with people. And, because most people cannot resist adorable little girls with a tray of sweets, people began to ask questions.
So we started having good sales and the first day ended with 5 very tired, but satisfied, first time craft fair vendors. Because we were coming back for day 2, we only packed up the product and money, and headed back down the mountain to get some much needed rest.
Day 2 started off with everyone complains about how tired and sore, but excited to get back to the mountains to see just how much we could actually sell. So we loaded up and made our way back to Hualapai Mountain Resort. As we started setting up, our fellow vendors, many of whom had spent the night in tents and campers at the site, started coming by for fresh cinnamon rolls and muffins. The gates opened of customers started to slowly trickle in. Not as busy as day 1, but steady.
One of our booth neighbors (they had a high powered telescope set up so people could look at the sky) kept coming back for more muffins. He finally just gave the granddaughter the money and she would come get him which ever flavor he wanted. Eventually, he decided he wanted to buy some to take home. He bought 1 dozen banana and 1 dozen blueberry.
A while later, I hear someone calling my name. It was the muffin man. He hollers out (while holding up a muffin) “is this blueberry or banana”. Aaaannnddd I could not stop myself before I blurted out “Do you see blueberries in it?”
Everyone started laughing and I realized that my tone had most likely been a little sarcastic. We all had a good laugh, and I had to admit to everyone that my momma had raised a bit of a smart ass.
It has been almost 8 years since that weekend in the Hualapai mountains, but every time I make blueberry muffins, I can smell the pine resin, see the dappled sunlight through the aspens and, clearly as that day, hear myself asking “do you seen any blueberries in it?”.