Monday, 12 March 2012

Build and Bake at River Cottage

Wasn't yesterday fabulous? Warm sunshine and blue, blue skies - lunch in the garden at Mum and Dad's - spring has finally sprung.

That was in stark contrast to last weekend when down in Devon an extremely lazy wind blew straight through us at River Cottage, where finally, Mr B received his Christmas present. A workshop day at River Cottage, building a clay oven and baking bread.

We drove down late Saturday afternoon (under grey skies), woke early Sunday morning (raining cats and dogs!) not an auspicious start. Arrived at River Cottage HQ cold, wet, but really quite excited and looking forward to our day.

Obviously it's a little disappointing not to be in the Barn and using the commercial kitchen, which burnt down recently, but the effort that everyone at River Cottage has made to get things up and running and to look after visitors couldn't be bettered. We had an Ab Fab day!

We started off in the 'field kitchen' which was surprisingly warm and well equipped.
After coffee and a little pep talk we started making our bread, all the while listening to the rain hit the roof, sounding not unlike the smattering of pebbles flung against a door.
As soon as there was a break in the weather we shot outside to nip down the hill to dig up a bit of clay! . . .
. . . returning back up the hill to make the former for our oven.
Mixing clay and sand to to cover the former.
Having a little warm up in the yurt, 
while waiting for our pizzas to cook in the mobile clay oven.
Returning to the kitchen to attend to the bread.
Back outside, and now the wind has blown away the rain it's a gorgeous sunny (if blustery and very cold) afternoon.
. . . . 15 minutes later, shooting back inside to see how well our loaves are doing. Needless to say we're all pretty impressed!
Back outside again . . . to make a door for the clay oven.
And, at that point I snuck back inside to warm up, take a quick peek at Neil prepping lunch, and find a cosy corner to check out the books.
Table set for a late lunch.
At the end of our day we're each sent home with a River Cottage handbook, and the knowledge of how to build our own clay oven - just have to allocate a space in the garden to build it.
While I wait for Mr B to construct our oven, I've been making use of my kitchen, ta-dah!

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