It is with much rejoicing and carrying-on that I announce the maiden burning of our Loven (wood-fired masonry oven).
Whee! Of course I paid homage to Prometheus, Hestia, Brigid and Haphaestos: mortal and immortal tenders of flame. The patron saint of bricklayers and masons (St. Stephen) and architects (the apostle Thomas) got their due. While I was at it I thanked the patron saints of bakers (St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Nicholas), winemakers (St. Martin of Tours) and farmers (St. Isidore) and gardeners (St. Fiacre). It was quite a crowd: I invoked them all by tossing my flour onto the hot floor of the oven and saying a simple “thanks a lot!” to the whole lot. Grazie!
In reality, it was just my family here to celebrate. First out of the oven: two pizzas, with our cheese and herbs and veg. Followed quickly by four loaves of sourdough bread (I have a new levain and love it), then in went one small pot of lentils with homemade chix sausage/sage and one roasting chicken, cooked simultaneously. The oven cooled and I set in it a quick clafouti with local sweet cherries (our milk and eggs) and then, overnight, I let the oven cool completely and roast out some of our new fresh garlic for future garlic jelly.
I can tell I am going to have a LOT of fun with my new toy.