Sunday, January 08, 2006

Baking Bread

"There are two kinds of poetry: one in words, the other in the way of being. If one lives imaginatively and creatively then every human act can become a poem." ---Satish Kumar The kitchen counter is lined with loaves of homemade bread rising in pans. I look on with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as the yeast expands the loaves.

Art goes beyond being decorative, like painting or writing poetry, baking bread provides an outlet for creating something new and satisfying; a sense of creative accomplishment. I enjoy the process of kneading the bread, watching the yeast grow and the bread rise. To bake bread, I have to move away from the rush of daily life. By slowing down while the bread is rising I gain time for thinking. There is a connection with life.

The bread I baked today is a recipe I developed myself. While the bread was rising and baking my mind was filled with images of family times together, kneading the dough side by side, shaping the dough into loaves, small changes suggested by the children or my husband that have improved the recipe, meals where we eat home baked bread, working together on a special meal, baking breads for gifts to friends. Each loaf of bread carries a tiny bit of creativity by which the baker shares a bit of himself with family and friends. When my children were young, we made family memories together as they “made bread” with me. Sitting on a tall chair squishing dough between small fingers they also took part in creating. With great pride they brought their loaves to the table to share with their grandparents and their father. I suppose I could find a good loaf of bread in the market but putting it into the shopping basket does not bring the same memories of family times together or the same satisfaction in personal involvement in a creative process. Today all of the children have grown to be capable and talented bread bakers.

Frustration and reward are hallmarks of baking. The gasses emitted by the yeast and the off gassing while the bread bakes make me ill. Oh, yes, we use vents and filters and they help. Do they ever help! Without these devices that control the air I would not be able to experience the sense of achievement and fulfillment that comes from baking bread. I love the feel of the dough, the curves of the loaves the sparkle in my husband’s eye. Yes, baking bread is satisfying
Why don’t people write
Poems about bread?
The sun warming the earth
The rain sprouting the seed
Sun and and wind kissing the grain
The molasses or the honey
The growing yeast
Giving life to the loaf
The aroma
The joy of baking
The fellowship of eating
The satisfaction of a task well done


Blogger harmonyinline said...

Looks and sounds delicous yum...

1:09 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

Thanks for your comment, encouragement is always appreciated

9:45 AM  

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