The Paysan Boulangers — Peasant Bakers

Wouldn’t this field make a superb wheat field? Rye, barley, spelt, einkorn?

There is a field behind our house. We call it the Gorsefield because it is thick with gorse, another invasive species introduced decades ago by a wistful Brit who wanted a taste of home.

A few years ago, the field was cleared. All the gorse pulled out of the ground and moved into large piles and burned.… Continue reading

No longer a ‘bread bro’!

My father’s prize chrysanthemums ready for shipping to a local flower show, circa 1959. Each bloom was a masterpiece, thanks to his meticulous, science-driven approach. A young Happy Monk baker, foreground, took note of his father’s ways and favoured a scientific method when he first started making sourdough bread. Today, I am trying to be more intuitive.
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Confessions of a Salt Lover

The Salish Sea off Craddock Beach, a vast reservoir of delicious sea salt!

I’m an unabashed salt lover.

I’m not one of those people who reach for the salt shaker by reflex at the dinner table. I don’t even see the salt and pepper at a table, unless something yells out for them.

I’m often berated by people I love about the amount of salt I use in my cooking.… Continue reading

The Island Within

The living cathedral, Brooks Point.

Jennifer and I live so close to the natural world, where we are on South Pender. Even in the summer, when the island swells with vacationers, hours will go by where we neither see nor hear any human. So when a shadow passes over the front – a raven flying over to Craddock Beach or our osprey landing in the twisted Garry oak on the hill beside our property ‒ it can cause a chill to shudder through the body.… Continue reading

Summer Magic at Art Off the Fence

The Happy Monk pizza table at this summer’s Art Off the Fence.

Jennifer and I moved to Pender Island seven years ago. One of our favourite cultural events has been Art Off the Fence, held annually on South Pender around mid-July.

Local artists show their newest works in an historic churchyard over two days in the high magic of summer.… Continue reading