BAKEOVEN DOOR

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Last year, in the spring, Tom Kelleher gave me a gift of a wood handle from one of the apple trees that was trimmed at Old Sturbridge Village to use for my bake oven door.  I couldn’t use it right away as it took a while to find the right wood for the door.  I was looking for something already old, and with a good color.  In the mean time Allan made me a temporary one that worked just fine, however did not have the look deserving of the old bricks used for the fireplace.

A few weeks ago Allan came across just the right wood and put together the new, old -looking door.  The apple wood handle needed to be peeled of its bark and made smooth; however, Allan was careful not to remove the soft nutty brown color underneath. I love the color of the wood he used as it matched the handle so well.  The handle itself is, well spectacular.  I love the way it twists and has a place for your thumb as you remove the door.  You can see by the pictures this is not an ordinary handle, this has character and movement.  I think it sings of happy baking days and the warmth and aroma of the bread sliding out on the peel.

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(Pictures from left and right to see the curve of the handle)

Thanks Tom for such a thoughtful gift.  I will think of you each time I use the bake oven door.  And Allan as always.

Sandie

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” – Robert Browning

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About Sandie

Since I was a small child I have loved early fireplaces and the smell of smoke in an old house. However it was not until about Fifteen years ago that my journey into hearth cooking began. It all started at the Hurd House Museum in Woodbury Ct. I was the director of the Junior Docent program and among the programs each week we cooked. At about the same time a group of us started the Culinary Historians of Connecticut meeting once a month to discuss equipment used, receipt (18th century term for recipe), and anything between the late 1600 to late 1700 that had to do with hearth cooking. We were fortunate to try our hand at cooking at several Museums throughout Ct and many more private homes. We made cheese; we held a late 1600 dinner and shared our knowledge with others. Our group designrd our own tours such as the Kitchens of Old Wethersfield. In 2000 we were delighted to host the Historic Foodways group of ALFAM at the Hurd House during their conference at Mystic Seaport. We put together a great workshop of Puddings, Sausages, Brown Bread, Beverages you name it we offered it. I am now a member of the ALFAM foodways group. Then it was off to Colonial Williamsburg for the seminar The Art of 18th-Century Cooking: Farm to Hearth to Table. During the years I joined many workshops in Sturbridge Village plus their Dinner in a Country Village and breakfast at the Freeman Farm. So I was pretty much hooked on heart cooking and the 18th century way of life. I joined a wonderful group of ladies and we started the “Hive” a place to improve and grow your 18th century impression and offer research about material culture in 17070’s New England. We also travel with friends and have displays of clothing and teas at Museums in Massachusetts. Many events are held at the Hartwell Tavern at Minute Man National Park. They have been gracious enough to let us play there and entertain and share our knowledge with their visitors. Please visit our “Hive” site if the 1700 interest you. Then the move to New Hampshire and a job at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth as the co-coordinator of the Junior Role Playing workshop and eventually cooking in front of the hearth at the Wheelwright house. Not only did I enjoy making my evening meals at the hearth to take home but also talking with the visitors. I am an entertainer after all, check out my program page. Most recently I am working at the Museum of Old York in Maine as an educator, hearth cook and organizer of the Junior Docent cooking program in the summer. See some photos in the archive file Because I do make food with the docents and serve food to the public at our Tavern Dinners I took the National Restaurant Association tests called ServSafe and now have my Certification as a Restaurant Manager. I look forward to the Museum of Old York opening again this March 2012 and getting back to the hearth and teaching, however for now I’m cooking at home and enjoying doing so.

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