Friday, December 3, 2010
Carolyne Aarsen multitasks
This is what happens when I'm trying to do too many things at once. And because baking bread is one of those - do something - wait - do something more - events, I tend to get too carried away in the 'do something more' portion of the process. I'll get the dough started and then go back to the computer and get all caught up in my writing my story forgetting that yeast will have it's way and won't wait for me.
I've always said, baking bread is not a lot of work, but you need to be present in order to do a good job of it. I love baking bread. I've done it since I was first married and my husband said, in a plaintive tone, that he hoped I would learn to bake bread like his mother did. This fit in well with my own idea of 'living off the land' so I hied myself over to my mother-in-law's to learn the magical process. She pulled out her bread tub and started. "First you need some water, sugar and yeast." Now I"m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person, or writer for that matter, and I required precision. "How much of each?" I asked, pencil and paper in hand. She pursed her lips and then, "Enough water, not too much sugar and a bit of yeast." I frowned and scribbled these instructions down. Then she added the flour. "How much of that?" I asked. "A goodly amount," she replied, scooping up cups of flour with a tea cup that had lost it's handle but not it's usefulness. I realized this was not going to go well so I dutifully watched and learned, then went looking for a bread recipe with measurements and precision. However, over the following years, after baking bread week after week, (A dozen loaves at a time in my family's heyday), I've become a bit of a rebel. I measure out water, yeast, salt, eggs, oil but when it comes to the flour, I throw caution to the winds and put in "A goodly amount" until it looks like it should. Then I walk away and, sometimes, forget about it.
And then it takes over my kitchen.