Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thoughts on Bread

This past week has absolutely flown by. Last I wrote I was in the midst of preparing my birthday eve dinner... And from that nice, quiet, lovely meal, the week just sped past in a blur of games, practices, injured thumbs from an overexcited horse jumping (luckily, Grace was wearing a helmet and hung on tight to Kid's mane), a 103 fever for my Sam who is never sick, and more games.

And all week I've been thinking about bread. It started with a couple posts in a row at Knitting the Wind where I tried in vain to post my comments on thoughts and questions raised there. Each time I wrote up a long, thoughtful comment and each time my comment disappeared as I tried to post it. Who knows why, just happened. I was more sad at the fact that I didn't let the blogger know how touched I was by her words than upset at losing my response. In any case, I've been thinking a lot about bread this week.

I love making bread. I love feeling the dough, I love the smell of the flour and yeast, I love the magic that takes place every time the dough rises, every time it turns into a crusty, golden bit of nourishment. I love this and at the same time I'm experiencing a lot of resistance to my bread--on the part of the almost 12-year old, that is, no one else. My bread doesn't come in a bag, it doesn't look like bread on other people's sandwiches. To my son's credit, his preferred bread is also a serious seedy, nutty, whole-grainy type of bread. Thank goodness. Of course, over and beyond that, his favorite is the white stuff, artisanal, but white nonetheless. The older I get, the less interested I am in white. I want depth of flavor, I want staying power, I want character in my bread.

A case in point about this move away from uninteresting flavors: I just bought a wonderful cookbook called Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. In three days I've made: Multigrain Pancakes, Oatcakes, and White Beans & Cabbage. All wonderful. Beyond wonderful. I need to come up with a synonym for wonderful, clearly, but you get the point. Vegetarian, though this is not necessary for me, flavorful, unrefined, simply yummy. Granted, only I ate the last of the three recipes, but the others went over well with Grace (Dave not being around this weekend). Sam refused to eat the pancakes and when he tried an oatcake he said "It's dry," to which I replied that it's an oatcake, not a muffin. Whatever.

I put so much time and energy into making out a menu every week so I can shop ahead of time (cheaper and I hate grocery shopping). I balance out meat dishes and vegetarian, plan for meals eaten at the baseball fields, think about days when Dave can cook. In other words, I am very conscientious about what I'm putting on the table, three meals a day. Unfortunately, not everyone embraces that love. I can't worry about it. My love is there in every meal and it gets eaten or not, the love is still there. I get a lot of satisfaction out of the planning and cooking of our meals.

I get the most satisfaction out of making bread, whether the kneaded kind, no-knead pot bread, biscuits, soda bread. And so I'll keep it up, making it as flavorful and unrefined as possible, so at least I can eat it and enjoy it. Two out of three of the other members of the family will enjoy it, too. Have to be at peace with that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love baking bread, too--and, Sarah's posts were wonderfully inspiring weren't they?

I struggle with meal planning every week. It's impossible to please everyone, although I try ;-).