Baking Bread with Ed McGivern!

Cold, windy but sunny today. No matter what and no matter how, this had to be baking day and I got an early start in hopes of using the waste heat to get the Lair toasty early.

I succeeded only in making bread dough, since the Lair oven refused to light. Again*.

Plan B: Take the dough and a few needed tools to Ian’s place, just over the ridge…

…where there’s a perfectly good oven.

Climb under the counter, reach around behind the stove to open the gas line**, then light the oven pilot. From there, I’m in business.

There’s actually an incentive that makes this arrangement less unpleasant than you might think…

Ian’s Cave still retains a vestige of his extensive library. And as you might know, Ian is a gun and military history geek. I could happily spend the winter in here if I didn’t have other things to do.


…this is not exactly a hardship project.

Anyway, this is a book I’ve been trying to get through for a week and a half now…

I know next to nothing about Ed McGivern even though I’ve heard his name all my life. He was a legendary trick shooter who died with his career long behind him when I was still a baby. I wanted to read this book because of my growing interest in revolver shooting. But so far all I’ve learned about Ed McGivern is that in addition to his remarkable accomplishments he had a penchant for ridiculous hats and was a terrible writer.

I also sort of learned that shot timers have come a very long way since the 1930s…

…oh, and also there’s probably a good reason trick pistol shooting doesn’t seem to be much of a thing anymore…

Can you imagine the liability issues with getting an event like that approved on any modern gun range? I really want to know what the casualty statistics were for target holders around the turn of the 20th century. Was ‘range safety officer’ even a thing a hundred years ago? These are questions I truly have now, and I doubt they’ll be answered.

Anyway, all good things come to an end…

Turn the gas back off…

…and then ferry everything back to the Lair, which requires two trips. I’m really looking forward to my new oven.

*A replacement oven is ordered and paid for, and I have a hard promise from a reliable neighbor to help me get it here from the big town about 50 miles away. Alas, Lowes let me down – it’ll be here sometime in January soonest. “Due to covid-19,” no doubt. The stovetop still works, so I’ll exercise patience.

**The whole thing is currently hooked to a mere 5-gallon bottle, mostly for the benefit of the new inline water heater. The kitchen stove isn’t even supposed to be on right now. When the tiny bottle inevitably runs out of gas I’ll probably lug one of my bigger bottles over the ridge. If Murphy permits, I’ll have a new oven before then. If not, no big deal.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Baking Bread with Ed McGivern!

  1. Judy says:

    Joel do you have a dutch oven? You can bake bread on the top of your wood stove in one.

  2. Mike says:

    Very nice Joel, I’m glad that you not only have a plan b for the baking but have a replacement stove on the way.

    You’re a better man than I for trying to read the old school shooting books. Seeing some of the stuff they wrote about makes me shudder in disbelief. Then there is the lack of writing style.

  3. Robert says:

    “Then there is the lack of writing style.”

    Oh, no, Mike, there is definitely a style: atrocious.

  4. Montanan Ed McGivern did some amazing stuff. Any person can be ligtning fast, but Mc Givern was accurate too. My favorite photo is this one of him hip-shooting and busting five clay targets in the air at once.

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