Oven Festival in Stagiates

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Interesting event in Stagiates Pelion. The tiny hamlet, perched at the base of the Pelion and a 15 minute drive from Volos, will host a “lighting of the traditional ovens” festival.
The locals will light the village’s 8 remaining ovens to bake bread, pitas and food. Then everyone will eat together in the town square. It all (exactly what?) starts at 09:30 Sunday.

It is a nice idea. Of course WE have many wood ovens in Skopelos – some old yet still working, some that need cleaning and repointing, and some new. Some ovens are tiny with enough room for a couple of loaves of bread and some are bigger and some gigantic, like Mitsos’s oven in the center of town (now cold and unused) which could cook 30 or more loaves at one time. Its floor space was at least 3 square meters!

Some years ago people from Skopelos used to drive to Palio Klima on Sunday mornings to buy the bread baked by a lady in her wood fired oven. For one reason or other she doesn’t do it anymore (I suspect that she has passed away – though I’m sure that someone from Palio Klima will lets us know the history)

Our friend “S” oversaw the building of a new oven in Mourtero a few years ago.

We have an oven built about 20 years ago by the late Andonis Englezos. He’d built many. It is a tricky business to build a firing dome (or vaulted, half barrel) and then enclose it. There are ratios (Dome height to opening size to flue) to be followed to make sure that the oven stays hot after the initial firing. And, since thing is part of the visual environment, it needs to look good. Our oven exterior is based on one photographed by Marc Held and seen in his book, “Skopelos – the Landscapes and Vernacular Architecture of an Aegean Island”.

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