In reading ” A Thousand Days in Tuscany” by Marlena De Blasi, I found these excerpts;
“Our favorites were the communal ovens in some of the smaller villages of the Friuli, ovens that are still lit at midnight each Friday with vine cuttings and huge oak logs so the Saturday bake can begin at dawn. We tell him about the official maestro del forno,the oven master, a man whose social and political position is second only to the mayor. The oven master maintains the oven and schedules the baking times, which begin at sunrise and end just before supper. Each household has it’s own crest of sorts to identify the bread- a rough cross, or some configuration of hearts or arrows slashed into the risen loaves just before they’re slid onto the oven floor. And then, so as not to squander the waning heat after the last bake, people arrive toting terra-cotta dishes and iron pots full of vegetables and herbs bathed in wine, a leg of lamb, once in a while, or hefts of pork with small violet-skinned onions and rough- cut stalks of wild fennel to braise in the embers all through the night and then to rest awhile in the spent oven, breathing in the the lingering aromas of wood smoke. ”
“So do you know the derivation of the word compagne, companion?” “From the Latin. Com is ‘con’, with, pan is ‘pane’, bread. A companion is the one with whom we break bread”.
So how do we bring back this community minded-ness ?Would anyone out there want to come to bake in the oven here ? If I have some interest we’ll work toward that.