A Pinch of Salt, A Pinch of Life

In February, I purchased four 10 kg bags of “fine grey sea salt” for Happy Monk bread production. That’s eighty-eight pounds of beautiful salt harvested off the west coast of France.

Don’t worry. Your Happy Monk loaves aren’t going to get saltier. They’ll taste the same as ever. I’ve been using this brand, Maison Orphée, for nearly three years; I got a reasonable price on this batch, and it will last well into next year.… Continue reading

Henry Miller and The Staff of Life

“What do I find wrong with America? Everything. I begin at the beginning, the staff of life: bread. If the bread is bad, the whole life is bad.”

from The Intimate Henry Miller, by Henry Miller, Signet, 1959

In his scathing essay, “The Staff of Life,” Henry Miller suggests that bread, and the way it is consumed, is the primary measure of a country’s “goodness,” or at least of its citizenry.… Continue reading

O, Sweet Lordy!

Left, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, right.

A few months back, Jen and I went to a dinner party, one of the first in a long time, post-COVID. The food and conversation were lovely, but one person in the group launched into a diatribe against George Harrison, the deceased lead guitarist of the Fab Four.

The Beatles, in my mind, are unassailable.… Continue reading

The Golden City

Driving off the ferry at Tsawwassen, we catch our first glimpse of Vancouver, tiny against the Lions and the North Shore Mountains in the background, the expanse of farmland in the fore.

The dream of a golden city

It is nestled between rock, forest, water, fertile earth and sky of billowy clouds. It nurtures me still, 11 years after leaving it for Pender Island.… Continue reading

The Breadman’s Quest for the Stanley Cup

I usually stop following hockey once the Vancouver Canucks miss or exit the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not this year, though. I’m over the 10-year hockey malaise that overcame me after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins in 2011. I’ve had low moments in my life, but that loss and the grim riots that followed were a hard pill to swallow.… Continue reading