Winter is my dreamtime. It's the time to follow my curiosity, to explore new places and ideas, to slow down my days and speed up my mind. There's so much I want to learn this winter that the three months till the farmers market starts again already feel overstuffed, stretched taut with ideas and plans.
After market last Saturday I headed east to the winter idyll of the Methow, where I spent the sunlit hours rediscovering my ski stride, and the long evenings reading by the fire. I've been visiting this cabin in the pines since the days of sled runs and snow forts, and the beauty of the valley still feels new and wonderful every time I return.
Between serene hours spent with Stafford and James Rebanks, I started my initial foray into the world of masonry wood-fired ovens with Scott and Wing's classic, The Bread Builders, and a new book by Richard Miscovich, an East Coast baker I met at the Skagit Grain Gathering. I'm enormously excited and a little nervous about my grand winter project: a community wood-fired oven. I've been thinking about building a wood-fired bread oven for years, and love the idea of making a place where food and fire can bring people together. If you have ideas about oven design, funding/sources for materials, or ways to make this oven a valuable community resource, I'd love to talk! I have lots of notes and ideas, but no fully formed plans.
And finally, I'm going to do a bake the first week of January. Stay tuned to find out how to order your bread (and perhaps pastry)!
Happy Merry Holidays.