Long ago, before marriage and children, maybe just out of college, I'm not sure, I bought this book. As you can see, it's the bible for bread baking. The highest authority on the subject. It's not bright yellow as the picture above portrays. It's a ruddy, earthy tone of mustard. It reeks of hippie and I feel very earnest just looking at it. If you know me well, you know that travel and movement has been a big part of my life. I like to purge and travel light. I don't hang onto superfluous things. Somehow or another this book has remained in my cookbook collection despite the fact that I have never, not once, used it. Why do I still have it then? Why didn't I let it go at the yard sale in Athens or Port Townsend or Las Vegas or Jackson Hole or Bainbridge Island or Ann Arbor or Chicago or Mancos or Thomasville or....
Let me tell you.
Somewhere along the way, not sure where (or why) I put 'bread baking' on my list of IMPORTANT LIFE PRACTICES. Do you have that same list? You should. It makes an average, normal life a little more neurotic and exciting. I envisioned a certain completeness, a wholeness, if you will, to accompany my bread baking. If I were baking bread for my children we would be warmer, sturdier, our cheeks ruddier. With a hearty slice of warm bread on a pottery plate, slathered in fresh butter from a local dairy my children would be more apt to recite simple, but endearing poetry about birds in their woven nests or regale each other with tales anchored in ancient celtic lore. As we ate our crusty loaves at our hand hewn table we would be dressed simply but with classic flair. Lewis would wear this.
I would have to trim his mullet.
Della would wear this and we would all die of cuteness.
Max could wear anything because he has always looked like we just picked him up from a day of croquet on an expansive green lawn by a stone house on the craggy and windswept coast of Scotland.
See what I mean.
So has bread change our life, you ask? (and thanks for asking)
I wouldn't know.
I've never baked any.
Not a single rustic loaf.
28 (long) years of carrying the dream and the subsequent guilt associated with NOT BAKING BREAD....
But hold onto your hats. Because as I type. At this very moment. In southwest Colorado.
Downstairs in MY kitchen. Something is rising. It has a dough-like quality and a yeasty aroma.
Will you stay tuned for the final results?
Please do. I have so much vested in this.
Read the stunning conclusion here!