Hanging up the Baker’s Peel for 2020

It’s time to hang up the baker’s peel for 2020!

The baker with his peel

After the last bake, Sunday, Dec. 20, I’ll be off until the week of Feb. 7! My chance to rest and recharge.

Time for long sleeps, reading, writing, testing new recipes, and thinking about new ways to make the business run better.… Continue reading

Praise the Rain

When the rain pours down as it is doing just now, it’s easy to see the world as a dull, unfavourable place. If it lasts for more than a few days, life itself becomes dreary, muted.

I grew up in Vancouver. Those long winter stretches of grey skies and constant rain were not fun, admittedly. The shooshing of traffic over slick roads, the mucky lawns, and torrents of water, pouring through the gutters, dripping off trees.… Continue reading

The Good People of Pender

Bread Day at the Happy Monk oven shelter.

The Good People of Pender Island show up on bread day with smiles. They take their bags of bread, then stand and chat for a few minutes, holding their packages against their chests. Some hurry away, saying, “People are waiting at home for breakfast!” pointing to their bags.… Continue reading

The Quest for Real Rye Bread

Real German rye bread is rarely seen in North America.

The tender crumb was brown tinged with gray; the rich brown crust was shiny, almost leathery, but tender. The aroma was dark and grainy, both lactic, like fresh cheese, and tangy, like subtle vinegar, with a hint of dark pipe tobacco. The finish was intense and the pungent acidity on the tongue was slow to dissipate, a bit unnerving, like the very first sip of some unfamiliar dark beer that makes you want to give it another try.

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To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

— John Keats, "To Autumn"

Autumn, with its mists and shimmering colours, has seemed incredibly vivid on Pender this year. The startling pink morning skies, the slanting orange light of the evenings, reflecting off the peeling trunks of arbutus trees.… Continue reading