To the surprise of no one but myself--I've been practicing some serious magical thinking--I did not, in fact, manage to design and build a masonry, wood fired, community oven in two weeks. How or when or why I decided that would be enough time I don't now remember. I have yet to lay a single brick, but at least I now have plans! I'll just have to wait till spring to execute them.
It's February! And I've been on the road for too long. It's time to bake again. If you'd like:
Red & White Sandwich (1.5 kg) $12
The simplest sourdough.
Mountain Rye (520 g / 2 kg) $6 / $22
Dense, seedy rye & wheat with caraway & coriander.
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies $2 / ea, $11 / half dz
Seriously dark Theo chocolate, with a hint of coffee and earthy buckwheat. *GF
Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie $2 / ea, $11 / half dz
Extra thin and toasty.
Buckwheat + Spelt Snail $4 / ea, $22 / half dz
My favorite breakfast pastry. Sourdough jellyroll scone with blackberry jam.
Orange Hazelnut Polenta Cake $24 / 8" cake
A little sunshine for a grey day. *GF
EMAIL ME with your order by Tuesday for Thursday front porch pickup (I'll send you the address with your order confirmation. If you DON'T receive an order confirmation, I didn't get your order! Try again, please).
I came home from Victoria this past week full of possibility and nerves. The two Canadian bakers I visited--and the other food entrepreneurs they introduced to me--are doing wonderful and ambitious things across the water: meticulously sourcing ingredients, stone milling, making in house ferments and charcuterie, using beautiful wood fired ovens, promoting a strong vision of a local food economy, building innovative and sometimes risky business models, and, of course, producing excellent food. Seeing them in action, listening to their ideas and plans, was inspiring and just a little intimidating. They're my age! Or at least, within ten years of it, and have done so much, built such interesting businesses, tried and failed and tried again.
Is there room for that much hope in Bellingham? Can you imagine our subdued city finding the enthusiasm to build a local food chain, from Growth Management to business incubators? I know food entrepreneurs and community organizations have been wrestling with a lack of support for years, but despite all the reasons I've been given for why Bellingham isn't ready to support a solid local food economy, when I look around I find it hard to believe we're not.
I had a lot of time for daydreams of food and food systems on the rides to and from Victoria, but better than the thinking times were the times of wonder. Beyond the strip malls, where agriculture and development edged up against the wild, there was a shore road along a berm between water-logged fields and the salt marsh. Dozens of herons posed on either side by the creeks and ditches; red tails and ospreys turned above; tens, hundreds of bald eagles crowded every telephone pole, sometimes four deep, stared yellow-eyed from the fields, perched in trees and on driftwood, wheeled by; and out on the sand bars and the flat water of the bay, thousands of seabirds strutted and swam. I've never seen such a density and diversity of birds. They filled me with ineffable, chest-aching gratitude. We live in an place so exuberant and alive that I'm startled again by its beauty every time I look up. I try to look up every day.
Will you stop by to talk food, community, bikes, and birds when I start oven building by the Interurban? Many of you I know by face, if not name and favorite bread, but I rarely have full conversations at the Farmers Market. I'd like to know our food community better (and that includes you!). I'm hoping to get building soon, though I still don't know most of the What's and How's. Perhaps this week? I'll send details once I sort them.