Our Pizza Oven




 Liz made it sound so magical, but she didn’t say pizza.    She said….fresh baked bread from an outdoor brick oven.  What was a brick oven?

Back in the day I was a home schooler, taking my kids to play groups with other mums.  It was then that  I first heard of the art of baking  Outside !!!! 

Years later the topic popped up again.  One of my besties uncle was actually building an outdoor oven right in his own back yard.  It involved a good deal of research on his part and it didn’t look easy.  There was a lot of calculating.  I monitored the situation.

I expressed my interest on this topic to one and all.  It paid off.  Helen my artist neighbour friend had recently heard of a Brick Oven Building/ Baking course at The North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota, 556 km away.

North House Folk School Campus on Lake Superior

North House Folk School Campus on Lake Superior


It took a year of waiting for the course to be available.  I guess this gave me time to ratchet up my courage and then apply for the class in June.

What a diverse group we were, a farmer, a New York baker, a Korean with lots of money and not lots of english, a potter, an outdoor adventurer,  a husband and wife  psychologist team and the very entertaining instructor Dude who was a huge fan of The Big Lubowski.  I love workshopping!!!

Build & Bake Workshop

Pizza Night @ NorthHouse



I got back from that adventure… just barely,  my van started acting up……….( VW – Vortex for your Wallet).  I was keen to make our oven.

RV's Welcome @ Sleepy Dog


The  statistic for success from the course is that 5% of the students will actually build.  It was super fun and do-able as a group  with a fearless leader and all the right tools, but on my own it grew more daunting.  Well not exactly on my own,  Tom is one amazing builder…with wood! We pondered on how to proceed.


One day in August I was headed to town with my friend ( the one with the uncle),we were VW-ing down the Trans Canada highway in NorthWest Ontario (her wheels, this time).  Now, to the horror of most of my friends, sometimes I pick up hitchhikers.  There he was, my Brick Oven Instructor at the side of the road, thumb out!!!  I made her stop.

On that ride to Dryden we sealed the deal that he would come and teach at our very own Sleepy Dog Cabins  Brick Oven Building Workshop .  So whadya know  we got ours built.  I have yet to get serious about bread baking but o boy Pizza Night is a whole lot of fun.  One of our faves is “Shore Lunch” pizza featuring some fresh caught Walleye.

SDC Brick Oven






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