Have you ever dreamed of baking your own bread outdoors? In your own clay oven? Maybe yes, maybe no….but the truth is, you gotta admire someone who makes her own fantasy come true. Linsey Herman from Cake and Commerce tells us her story.
Growing up in Massachusetts there was no escaping the ritual fall field trip to Plimoth Plantation, a historic replica of a 17th century English Village populated by role players. Cooling days and the making construction paper hats meant the one-hour bus ride to the coast was not far off. While most of my classmates looked forward to the time away from class, the thing I looked forward to the most wasn’t the time away from penmanship and phonics and math but the possibility of eating some so-called “Indian Pudding”, a simple corn pudding made from cornmeal, milk, and molasses, or getting to churn butter. I was always a little weird.
I hadn’t spent a fall in Massachusetts in almost 10 years after relocating to Chicago. And then a layoff, followed by another layoff, drove me back home to free lodging at the ancestral home. The sky is different here, there’s something in the air, an aroma of sweet pine and burning leaves and dew that makes me nostalgic for a time that I don’t think ever really existed except in the story books read aloud to first graders in a wooded country elementary school.
Extant or not, these memories made me think about cookery prior to the mid-20th century arrival of mass refrigeration, electricity, and convenience. Since I’d also been doing a lot of barbecuing over the summer and thinking about convection currents in dome-shaped cooking vessels, I thought that it might be fun to build an oven in the backyard. And create a Foodbuzz 24,24,24 event around it.