It’s a quiet place, Pender Island. People live their lives here, they fall in love and raise families. They work, shop, commute, they keep themselves entertained with friends, culture and arts and enjoying the great outdoors. Natural beauty abounds. But it’s a quiet place, as places go. And as with any community, there are times when it all seems to come together.… Continue reading
Mildrith, the oven, has been confounding, these past few weeks. She gives me enough heat for a single load of bread, but once that’s done, there’s nothing left. No heat left over for the next load! I need to build a second fire to get it up to temperature for the next bake, and that can take up to two hours until I can lay in another load of bread to bake.… Continue reading
Sure, let’s just get a bunch of clay and sand, maybe some straw, and build a wood-fired cob oven! I’m not afraid of a little hard work, the YouTube videos make it look like a snap. We’ll be baking by the weekend! And pizzas!
Not that simple. In this case, there was a ton of manual labour, delays with building supplies, schedules and agonizing decisions.… Continue reading
Happy to introduce Brother Geoffrey, affectionately known by his brothers as Geoffrey the Baker. He is an English monk, and his white robes show him to be of the Cistercian order. He lives in an abbey somewhere in our imagination, and we can imagine that it is the smell of bread emerging from his wood-fired oven that makes him so happy.… Continue reading
This is Mildrith, the oven of the Happy Monk Baking Company, a clay and straw mixture with a firebrick hearth. She is the heart and soul of our baking enterprise. So why is she called Mildrith?
One of the workers on the oven, Jacques Marmen, wondered several times whether the oven was a male or female … or perhaps non-binary?… Continue reading