Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Loaves of Revelation

WE baked bread and it was a success! I had never done this before, but have wanted to for so long. I would go back and forth between being super-enthusiastic about my new 'project' (wanting to go out and buy a milling machine, for example, so that I could mill my own flour), then overcome with doubt and deciding I should start small with a packet mix of the 'just add water' variety. Then finally yesterday I managed to get past the overthinking and just made it. A little background for those to whom bread baking is no big deal: I have always thought my cooking skills to be quite good, but baking was just never my thing and even homemade cookies frequently end up being donated to the birds. I admit, I have a problem following recipes.

Well the actual act of baking was not especially eventful; Emma had fun transforming Basil into a dalmation by 'raining' on him with handfuls of flour; I was trying to put some elbow grease into kneading the dough - not very easy with a slumbering little bundle suspended on your front in a sling. But when it was finally baked, I even procrastinated cutting into the loaf to see how it turned out. (Ever done that with a letter that you know contains exam or interview results?) When I finally did, half a day later, I was amazed to find that not only was it fully cooked inside, it held up to being sliced thinly, was not too heavy and even tasted good! You can't imagine how clever I felt! Emma and I high-fived all through our bread and cheese lunch.

I do realize this small feat is not exactly comparable to Neil Armstrong's steps on the moon, but to me it was! And that led me to a revelation. Emma likes to dress and undress and redress her dolls in Alexander's clothes oh, maybe thirty times each day. That's great except she can't fasten the snaps (poppers). So guess who gets this job (thirty times each day)? Today she came running to me announcing ecstatically: "I did it up Mama all by myself!" My first instinct was "Thank heavens! About time!" Then I remembered that I baked bread all by myself, and shared her moment of joy.

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