In the Beginning
Hurricane Isabel is credited with getting Yummaries off to a bang. In 2003, Isabel roared through Smithfield and blew an enormous pecan tree onto the Payne's house, destroying the existing kitchen and much more. As the Paynes began repairing the house, which was built in 1909, they decided to include a professional kitchen where Kelly and Marie could mix, knead, and bake to their hearts' content. And, Yummaries was born.
Yummaries opened for business in 2005, bringing fresh baked goods, candies, and preserves to Smithfield's Olde Towne Curb Market every Saturday morning. Every Friday the kitchen was abuzz as hundreds of pounds of flour and sugar were transformed into homemade delights. Neighbors frequently dropped in and "complained" that it smells too good for them to just walk by.
Growing Up in the Shenandoah Valley
Kelly Payne grew up on a family farm in the Shenandoah Valley with talented bakers and garden fresh produce in every direction. Her maiden name was Kelly Baker so she assumes that she was born with a genetic need to bake. Her love of gardening was also cultivated during these years on the farm, and in the summer her backyard is filled with golden butternut squash, plump blackberries, heirloom tomatoes, tart rhubarb, tender asparagus, prolific zucchini, lavender, mint, and numerous varieties of peppers.
While many of the recipes and techniques that Kelly learned over the years came from female relatives, the men were not to be outdone. Kelly's grandfather, Victor Baker, regularly came in from the fields to make wonderfully crusty bread and deliciously dark fruit cake. Yummaries is proud to offer Grandpa's Fruit Cake made from this original family recipe for sale every Fall.
As a youngster, Kelly spent many weekends with her great-grandmother, Dorothy Mitchell. One recipe that they frequently made together was called a Wacky Cake. Kelly has the original recipe that they followed, which her great-grandmother wrote on theback of an envelope (pictured).
Kelly often came across this recipe over the years as she shuffled through her recipe box, but the time to make another Wacky Cake finally arrived when Marie was several years old. Together Kelly and Marie measured and mixed and eagerly waited for the cake to come out of the oven. But, boy when it did it sure tasted wacky! Unfortunately, this recipe made a better memory than an edible dessert. However, Kelly is incredibly grateful for the rich experiences that she had baking with her great-grandmother and this recipe will always have a special place in her heart.
Kelly is a bit of a perfectionist, and perfect pie dough was the first baking technique that she decided to master as a teenager. While Kelly had been taught that the number one rule on a family farm is "waste not, want not," she threw out all of her failures. (Please don't let her Mother know!) After many rejects, she finally mastered the pastry technique and moved on to pie fillings. Pineapple Pie has been one of her childhood favorites since her first tasted it at a farm auction so she started with this delightful filling and the rest is history.
As delicious as the pie fillings are, when combined with the perfectly flaky pie crust, the only way to resist a slice of Yummaries pie is to give it away. So, Yummaries hosted a pie eating contest at the farmers market. During the event, kids raced to see who could eat a quarter of a Chocolate Chess Pie the quickest and adults did the same with quarters of Apple Pie. Christian Littlefield (in the neon shirt) won the youth contest. Ryan Brown, a teacher at Westside Elementary School, won the adult contest. The contest was featured on the front page of the Smithfield Times with a picture entitled "Pigging Out on Pie." We are all looking forward to the next contest!
Although bread making is a family tradition, every family member has their preferred techniques and ingredients. Regardless the recipe, homemade bread hot from the oven is hard to resist.
Kelly's grandfather, Victor Baker, made his bread without salt, let it rise on the stone hearth covered with a thick cloth, and baked it in odd shaped pans that fit just so in the oven.
Kelly's mother, Ann Jarrels, prefers adding heart healthy grains to her dough and is the inspiration for Yummaries Whole Wheat Bread with Flaxseed. Marie and her cousins have enjoyed many a grilled cheese sandwich made with Grammy's special bread.
Another fine baker, Jean Basnight (sister-in-law of Jean Payne), provided Yummaries with the recipe Sourdough Bread. For years, Aunt Jean has made this sweet sourdough for use during communion at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church in Manteo, North Carolina. Years ago Kelly's husband, John, created a stir when he took communion at Mount Olivet's Christmas Eve service. As he returned to his seat he whispered to the rest of the family, "That was not the body of Christ - that was Aunt Jean's Sourdough Bread!"
Elenora Menefee, Kelly's maternal grandmother, made huge batches of dough in a Hobart floor mixer and then baked thousands rolls on full sized sheet pans for the guests at Massanetta Springs Presbyterian Conference Center. Kelly still uses her grandmothers "pinching" method to form Yummaries rolls.
Soft cookies are an art form. Yummaries has them, but only after seeking advice from wonderful bakers, combining just the right ingredients, experimenting with pans, fiddling with oven temperatures, and tweaking cooling strategies.
Before there was a Yummaries, family members were recruited annually to bake thousands of huge cookies for Smithfield's Olden Days Festival to benefit Marie's church youth group. The first year that they participated in the festival, they sold out of the M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies as fast as they could get them out of the oven. This set the mark for freshness which is a Yummaries standard and these mega-sized cookies are now called "market sized".
The Oatmeal Raisin Cookies were added several years later. The cinnamon oil that Kelly and Marie add to the chips gives these cookies an extra zing that you won't find anywhere else. The Molasses Crinkles recipe and all the hints on keeping them soft followed from Marie's grandmother, Ann Jarrels.
Five Flavor Pound Cake
Kelly's mother, Ann Jarrels, worked in the Virginia court system with a probation officer, David Smith, who loved to cook and trade recipes. When Kelly was a teenager, he sent the recipe for Five Flavor Pound Cake home with Ann. Kelly baked many of these cakes growing up. She would never fail to raise an eyebrow when she told people that the recipe came from a probation officer, as everyone would always jump to the conclusion that it was from Kelly's probation officer. (And, that's all we are going to say about that!)
This tender, moist cake is a top seller at Smithfield's Olde Towne Curb Market. Several years ago, a customer informed Kelly that the recipe was originally developed by Watkins to sell five flavorings to customers. This ingenious marketing ploy resulted in a delicious cake that is marvelous on its own and even better when paired with fresh fruit and whipped cream. After Marie grew out of the cartoon character birthday cakes, this cake has been her standard birthday cake.
One of Yummaries' best selling fruit breads is Banana Pecan Bread. We love everything about this bread - the dark, rich color, the strong banana flavor and aroma, the never ending moistness and the palate pleasing texture. Over the years, Kelly misplaced the recipe several times and tried different banana bread recipes, always with disappointing results. Kelly's mother, Ann Jarrels, has the original recipe and can always locate her copy. She had come to expect Kelly to call and ask for it again . . . and again . . . and again. Kelly now keeps all of her copies of this recipe in her recipe box and smiles as she comes across each one.
Although Kelly's father, Bill Baker, was a bee keeper for many years, Pear Honey is not made by bees but rather is really pear preserves, made with pears and sugar. The Pear Honey name may come from the sweetness of these preserves or the fact that it is not as thick as most preserves. We have speculated about this over the years but really don't know where the name came from. However, we do know that Pear Honey is perfectly delicious on fresh baked bread, pancakes and biscuits. These preserves has long been a family favorite. By the way, Bill Baker grows the pumpkins used in the Pumpkin Raisin Bread and Pumpkin Logs.
Prior to Kelly developing Mom's Fudge, she tasted some pretty good fudge up and down the East Coast. Never to be outdone, she began with a recipe from her mother-in-law, Jean Payne, and used her chemistry background to design a fudge that is unbelievably creamy and smooth. The Paynes have been known to place five pound logs of their finest fudges on a huge marble slab for the enjoyment of hundreds of guests viewing the Smithfield Christmas Parade.