Thursday, September 24, 2009

Form and Function

I am ecstatic to see progress being made on our wood fired brick oven. People who come in to Flying Squirrel ask about it all the time - with very frequent questions about pizza (the answer is a qualified yes - we will do pizza in the oven sometimes just for fun because we can and it will be awesome, but we won't become a pizza place - Talkeetna already has one of those...).

Anyway, Brian made the plywood forms a few days ago and got two arches completed on the oven's roof or dome. I always knew this part would impress me.

It's hard not to be impressed with an arch. I grew up in Pennsylvania where arches with a keystone (PA is the "Keystone State") were common over the windows and doorways of many old brick and stone homes. It strikes me as some kind of great magic trick. Like when the magician pulls the tablecloth away and his lovely assistant appears to be floating in mid air.

I also like how bricks depend on one another. That is what makes the whole thing work. Each brick in the arch must have the brick next to it and the brick next to that one and so on in order to be able to support it's own weight and any other weight on top of the whole arch. Symbiosis is what it's called I think. Like a family. Like a community. Brother and sister brick.

Today is one of those days where I worry because things are slow here. It's inevitable I know. We have all this beautiful food and bread and yummy yummy pastries. People who do come in are very happy with the choices, the variety, the atmosphere. And yesterday was a fine day. It's just part of the roller coaster of owning a business, of wintertime in Alaska, of needing to do more marketing, of learning what works and what doesn't.

Generally though, I feel like I and Flying Squirrel are one brick in the arch - especially in the small town of Talkeetna. We all lean on each other, help hold each other up, support the next brick over, but also support the brick way down at the other end. It kind of makes me feel like everything is going to be ok.

Especially when that first crusty bread comes out of the brick oven!

Although there are LOTS of individuals and businesses I wish to thank for their help and support, there are two in particular I am thinking about today in terms of symbiotic relationships... Whole Wheat Radio and the potential future very fun musical endeavors we are talking about trying out here at Flying Squirrel as well as Sunshine Transit, our local free shuttle bus that will hopefully soon make Flying Squirrel a scheduled stop on their route up and down the Spur Road and who has offered to help with deliveries of bread and pastries to sell out at our local grocery store!


  1. I wish you all the success in the world. I stopped by for lunch with my family for the first time on Sunday and everything was fantastic. The fresh grainy bread, beet salad, and lentil soup were all scrumptious and the rugelach - OH MY GOD - was to die for!!! I'm telling everyone I know in Eagle River and Anchorage all about the Flying Squirrel.
    Please hang in there. Alaskans need fresh, delicious, aesthetically pleasing food like yours. I can't wait until my next trip to Talkeetna. (You'll be my first stop!)

  2. Great analogy about support and symbiosis - and thanks!

  3. Wonderful, wonderful. I'm eager to make yet one more drive up to see and EAT, not work! Hopefully, that will be sometime before the end of the year. What's on the plan for holiday fare? Eh, don't tell me - the wait would be torture. :-)

  4. Oh I cant wait to eat your baked goodies! When i get back out to your fine Alaskan Town!

    Save some for me!

  5. I got excited and happy too when I saw the first scrumptious pizza we baked in our oven. ^_____^ It’s awesome, I’m telling you. How was your brick oven, by the way? I hope that it still functions well. I wonder how many bread and pastries you have already baked in the past three years.