The Bread Peddlers are back at it after a short break:
Tues Oct 28, 4 to 8 pm: fresh bread out of the brick oven!
Wed Oct 29, 9 am: Bread delivered to Green Tree Health & Wellness, Reid Street, Quesnel
Wed Oct 29, 4 to 8 pm: Pizza night is back – come and get one of our two delicious choices of wood-fired pizza
(or, hell, get one of each, most people do!)
We had a fantastic if slightly whirl-wind-ish trip to BC’s southern coast. Our first stops were in Duncan and Crofton to visit friends of Tim’s from his cross-Canada bike trip. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any photos of Bonnie’s fabulous house and stuff. She has interesting things piled artfully in every nook and cranny you could care to look into! It was amazing to snoop around someone else’s treasures! Next we headed to Victoria to visit Byron Fry at Fry’s Red Wheat Bakery in Vic West. He has a very busy operation there (sourdough, wood-fired, the whole bit). He also had a mixer that was stored on his parent’s patio – they wanted it out of the way and we WANTED it. It is a diving arm mixer, the best kind for kneading bread dough. It is an old and heavy beast, and it took some clever thinking and strong backs to get it off the patio, up a ramp into a van, and then across the ramp into our truck. The truck sighed audibly when the mixer was loaded on, and didn’t get any relief for another 1000 kms or so until we unloaded it this morning. It will sit just outside the bakery on the stoop until it gets cleaned up and tweaked. The motor is 3-phase, which means nothing to me except that magic has to happen before it will work in our bakery. Good thing Tim is a magician/electrician. Good thing I’m handy with a rag and some soap.
We visited Paul and Michelle and their two lovely daughters on Gabriola Island. Paul has operated Slow Rise Bakery with his business partner Dimitri for 8 years. Their oven is HUGE and the bakery is a lovely timber frame building – it is on Paul’s property just over the bank from his house, and Dimitri and his family live across the street! How’s that for commuting to work? Paul graciously let Tim and I disrupt his chi for two whole shifts in the bakery, where we stood around like zombies (they were night shifts), got in the way, and asked stupid questions. We learned a lot. I hope it will show in our bread in the weeks and months to come!
We visited friends on Salt Spring Island. We had some kid time with two of our favourite kids, and we had a great impromptu lunch cooked by the masterful Jason – it was so warm we ate out in the gazebo! In October!
Our last but most important island to visit was Quadra Island. There we picked up my new touring bike frame! I ordered it a year ago, and it was ready in time for us to pick it up on this trip. We stayed on Quadra for two wet and windy nights in our tent, and it was worth every second of it! It is a lovely place that neither of us had visited before. Tim’s touring bike got a big retro-fit done on it while we were there, so that gave us time to explore and do, well, nothing. It was blissful. If you’re in the market for an amazing hand-built bike, check out Sam’s handiwork at Naked Bikes. He’s been at it for 15 years. And here is a little post he did about my bike. We have, ehem, TIM has 5 ½ months to get it into riding shape – we leave at the end of April for a bike trip in Denmark.
We are both VERY excited about our new rides, and so it was a little disappointing to come home to snow. So much for that mountain bike ride we were planning for today. Actually, there would have been no bike riding today anyway. While we were away a wily squirrel came into the bakery from inside the roof via the chimney collar (can you believe it!) and then spent two days trying to get out. Thank goodness our friend John was around to sort out the situation with a live trap. There are two blessings in this: other than the chimney collar, which we will block tomorrow, there is no way into or out of the bakery for a small critter – we know, this guy tried EVERYWHERE. And, he could not and did not get into the dough room or the grain store, so no food was touched! The non-blessing part is that I spent the whole day in the bakery in a sea of bleach.