Ode to Mildrith the Wood-Fired Oven

Mildrith the wood-fired oven of the Happy Monk Baking Company, Pender Island, British Columbia
“She’s my one, my only,” I think. But I must be dreaming.

When I step outside at 2 a.m., it’s cold and dark. I find my way to Mildrith’s shelter with the light of a headlamp. Sometimes a light breeze jostles the wind chimes. They sound like an eerie, monastic night-chant. Compline.

The fire in Mildrith, the wood-fired oven, has been burning 17 hours.… Continue reading

Mildrith Springs to Life!

Two o’clock in the morning.

I’m still a little bleary-eyed, having slipped out of bed only a few minutes before.

Mildrith is warm. I’d fired her the previous evening for a few hours. The fire was still going when I sealed her off for the night. I’d closed the damper, inserted the fire door and shut the steel gates.… Continue reading