A wood-fired Thanksgiving

Brussels sprouts going in

I am as a-religious as it is possible to be. Although I’m Jewish, I don’t believe in God, don’t go to temple, and don’t even understand what spirituality means. Still, there are two Jewish holidays that I like to mark: Passover and Yom Kippur. They are about freedom and atonement, respectively, and I think there’s […]

Extra! Extra! Hell freezes over!

fire one 2

I’m a fan of old-fashioned virtues. Give me honor and courage and fortitude over such trumped-up nonsense as cleanliness and moderation and, God forbid, honesty. I think virtues matter, and I chose my husband because he is built of – he built himself of – the qualities I most value. Which makes it hard to […]

Pizza while we wait


Until this past Thursday, we hadn’t made pizza in a very long time. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you just how long, but because I’ve been documenting our food life in excruciating detail for two years now, I can tell you precisely how long: eleven months and nine days. It was eleven […]

Hearth of stone

Mortar covers a multitude of sins

Building wood-fired ovens seems to be all the rage. Locally, I’ve read first-hand accounts in The Boston Globe and Edible South Shore. You can get detailed instructions from Mother Earth News or Sunset Magazine. Kiko Denzer’s book, Build Your Own Earth Oven, is in its gazillionth printing and still selling briskly. And small wonder. The […]

Between a rock and a hot place

I have a cement mixer

Before we started building our wood-fired pizza oven, my only experience with concrete came from leaving the cake-batter bowl on the counter overnight. In general, though, I’m pretty careful about soaking used dishes. “Put that in the sink,” I’ll say to Kevin. “If you let it dry it’ll turn to concrete.” And I suppose cake […]