An Unusual Weekend….

Sunday November 9th 2014

This weekend I made 125 pizzas.

We live in Colrain, Massachusetts, tucked beneath the Vermont state line and above the Deerfield River. Colrain has long been a refuge for artists, artisans and others looking for someplace beautiful and affordable in which to work while appreciating and preserving the areas pastoral past. Artisans and farmers work side by side appreciating and supporting one another. On one weekend every fall Colrain’s diverse artisans invite the public to their hilltops and vales to demonstrate their crafts and to display and sell their wares in a studio tour called the “Crafts of Colrain”.   It is essentially Colrain’s version of Sonoma County’s Art Trails. Crafts of Colrain took place this weekend. Artisans included potters, painters, fiber artists, metalsmiths, sugar houses with their maple products, photographers, jewelry makers, basket weavers, woodworkers…… Our Katywil neighbors Justin and Katie Korby who own and operate the artisan Stoneman Brewery  also took part.

Justin Korby with his artisan Stoneman Brews
Justin Korby with his artisan Stoneman Brews

Last year was the first year the Stoneman Brewery participated in Crafts of Colrain and they had 700 visitors over 2 days. This year they had advertised that they would also be serving stone hearth wood fired oven pizza. 3 weeks before the event, the arrangements for the mobile brick wood fired oven fell through…..Justin and Katie were left with a dilemma. So, the Hadley and Turkle families decided to offer pizza cooked in the Katywil brick and cob wood fired oven to help out our neighbors Justin and Katie. None of us had even done anything like this before. To say that we felt underprepared is an understatement! Katie Korby used to own and run a mobile stone hearth wood fired oven business, so she gave us some dough handling training and helped us come up with a shopping list, and that was it! We just jumped in, for better of for worse.

Thursday we went shopping.

Friday, after some expert hands on dough training from Katie, we rolled out the dough and prepared the crust for 125 8inch personal sized pizzas, prebaking all of them. By the end of the day I felt pretty confident with my newly found pizza shaping and throwing skills (Thanks Katie!).

Saturday noon, the people started coming. Nancy Turkle had made some beautiful signs and set them up at Justin and Katie’s brewery, and we were connected with them via the trusty forever useful walkie talkies. The people kept coming, we kept baking…. Haynes manned the oven, I was assembling the pizzas, Bill Cole was our greeter, taking orders and money, Monique was our runner relaying the orders back to me on the assembly table, Paul was the all around fill in help and errand guy…it was a total Katywil family affair. By 5pm as the sun was setting and the temperatures dipped into the frosty zone, we had made and sold 55 pizza (actually truth be told we probably made 65 but 10 were sacrificial, after all we had to test the oven and our recipes! ). We offered greens and garlic scapes, cheese, sausage and pesto pizzas.

Sunday, we started the whole process again.

Guests enjoying pizza by the Katywil wood fired oven
Guests enjoying pizza by the Katywil wood fired oven

Total pizzas made this weekend: 125! We actually closed up the pizza house early at 4pm on Sunday and turned 2 customers away. What an experience. It was a ton of work, but we had a lot of fun doing it and we enjoyed supporting Justin and Katie and their brewery. Next year we think we might actually be our own listing on the Crafts of Colrain tour, “Katywil wood fired oven pizza and cider”.

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