I have been know, in the past, to state with great conviction that I don't care about cake. This is untrue. I don't care about white cake, split and frosted. Birthday cakes bore me. But give me a dense, citrusy pound cake, or a torte falling under the weight of fresh fruit, and you have my attention. The French apple cake recipe I've been playing with falls somewhere between the latter and a Dutch pancake. It has the custardy texture of a pudding cake or egg-rich pancake, though this may be due, in part, to the fact that right now I'm over-stuffing it with apples, and is scented with vanilla and rum. Were I to choose only one cake for fall, it would be this. It's the kind of cake I can care about.
But while I've been pouring over cake recipes, I've been studiously avoiding other projects, most importantly, the community wood fired oven. I built up an enormous amount of oven inertia this summer while I was consumed with baking and farmers markets, and now that I have a little free time, I'm finding it nearly impossible to get going again. This is mostly because I'm intimidated by the project, and only a little because I've been enjoying slowing down.
I know, logically, that I can learn or reason my way through the unfamiliar parts (which are most of them, since I've never done masonry or worked with a wood fired oven), and while I was planning last winter, and starting to build in the spring, I had the momentum to overcome my fear of being unequal to the task. Having lost that momentum, I find myself paralyzed by it. I'm not always good at asking for help, but here I go: if you find yourself with time on a Wednesday, some basic handiness, if not directly relevant experience, and a willingness to work with bricks in the rain, would you come keep me company? I think that's all it will take, being accountable to someone else, and having another mind to help reason through the process.
And now it's time to suit up and wander out into the rain.
See you at market!