My husband’s co-worker M.* is very sick with what looks like an advanced case of cancer. Ralph has, since taking the job at the college, been bringing my food – especially my baked goods – to share at work. M. has really enjoyed my breads especially. I think at first he thought maybe we were bread-peers to have a competition, but he’s now thrown over as me the “winner” and him the recipient of my awesome bread. So I’ve taken to baking a loaf just for M. I love baking bread – I mean I love it, it will lift me out of any minor depressive state. And I love making it for other people even more.
Food-wise today I also made a yellow cake with double-chocolate cream cheese frosting and decorative kumquats and of course, breakfast and dinner (chicken lettuce wraps and vegetable fried rice). For lunch the kids and I took shelter from the rain at one of our favorite local eateries, a homey place that specializes in Italian fare. The three of us split a steak lunch and I wrapped every bit of extra meat in a piece of foil to take home to the cats.
I love diner eating with the kids for lunch. It feels like a little tradition of sorts. I won’t lie, the kids
don’t always never sit still and if I’m hungry it sets me on edge. I’ve been smart lately and brought some math workbooks for the two of them to mess about with while we wait for our meal. Nels in particular shows a joy and adventurous proficiency in the subject; he worked on a first grade level today and after solving the numeracy problems assiduously decorated each cone, square, circle and triangle into corresponding real-life shapes (party hat, wooden block, eyeball, and tooth, resp.). Sophie and I sat on one side of the booth and we couldn’t get enough of holding one another, scooting in and kissing or snuggling. She smells better to me than just about anything else, even fresh-baked bread.
* Not his real initial.
I think this articulates why I’d like to get into bread making and why I NEED to get into bread making.
My dad makes the bread around this family’s parts. It started as my sister’s job, but when she moved away to parts unknown, my dad took up residence. I love it when they bring it to me.
Jasie, as far as thrifty / frugal kitchens go, bread is amazingly cheap. I buy my yeast in bulk and it’s literally ten times cheaper than the jar of it at the store… and you can buy flour in bulk, I often have 50 lbs. at a time. The thing about bread is once you get good at it (it takes some practice) it is so comforting and delicious that it really makes a meal wonderful. I cook a lot of meals with homemade bread and beans from dried (also very cheap).
Just to be clear: my cooking isn’t about being frugal or cheap, I’m just saying that bread-making really does fit into that model of homemaking.
K8, do you really not know where your sister is?