A few weekends ago I went to visit Meg Hobson’s bakery on her property just out of town. She wanted to show me where the magic that is her wood-fired bread happens and when I arrived, the large converted garage was already humming with busyness. Not only was Meg baking for the Bulkey Valley Farmer’s Market the next day, she was also preparing meal service for the Relay for Life. This was not a normal night. Meg was four hours behind schedule and was enlisting the services of others (her kids namely) to help with the time crunch. After I put my camera down, I too put a few skewers together for the kebabs.
There is something about the art of baking bread…I just can’t put my finger on it. I’ve read about how bread is such a cultural staple of the West, how growing and processing grain is a labour of love. I think there is something hopelessly romantic about the process of bread from grain to table, perhaps it makes me think of the way things used to be back in the days of my great grandparents in Russia. I haven’t been to the prairies to witness it, but a field as far as the eye can see of golden grain swaying in the sunset by some unseen hand just makes my skin tingle. In a good way.
I can’t bake bread for anything and I have a deep respect for those who can and do it well. The few times I’ve tried, I just ended up with a big mess and hard lump of wheat I can barely call edible. So I leave this kind of thing up to the experts.
Just a few for now ~ I may be needing these images for a cool project that is just an idea right now. If you are in Smithers and don’t know about it yet, Rustica Wood-Fired bakes every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market. And Meg sells out quickly so come early if you don’t want to be disappointed. For those that live elsewhere, I would encourage you to find someone in your area that does wood-fired artisan bread. The quality and texture of it is unlike anything else.
“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
— James Beard