Monday, August 15, 2011
19-26: the bread of life
I made some bread for the first time in my new house. It made me very happy. Baking bread is one of those things that works like therapy (along with singing, reading, and working in the sunshine). I love baking any time, but it seems like I usually endup doing it most late at night when I want a break from my reading or just feel snacky. :)
This bread has no recipe. It's a very basic thing to make, though, and if you have practiced doing something for long enough, and give enough love and care to it, you are sure to get by just fine without directions and lists and persnickity rules. That is how life is, whether it is in writing a letter or getting a baby to fall asleep or sewing a dress. The same goes for driving a car, and grocery shopping, and raising a garden. You do it again and again until you could almost do it in your sleep.
It is Monday, and in this world, there are millions of miracles to be thankful for.
I'm thankful for a kitchen which has all of the neccesities for cooking.
I'm thankful that if you pour yeast and a pinch of sugar into warm water, it will foam up and keep on swelling even when you add other weird things to it.
I'm grateful for whisks with their little webs of silver wires and the clack they make against the side of a bowl.
I'm thankful that bees have factories to make honey, and that I can get mine in little plastic bottles shaped like a bear.
I'm glad that grapeseed oil is green and weird looking, but that it doesn't change the flavor of the food.
I'm grateful for the sun of an egg waiting in the white shell, and the salty little rocks stored in cardboard shakers by my stove, and that they make tangy yeasty water taste good.
I'm thankful for flour and the way it whisks into the bowl, flouffing like dry snow all over the counter, and how it thickens and tightens into stretchy white dough.
I'm thankful for my hands and the way they tell me how taut or soft the dough is beneath my fingertips, how done the loaf is when I tap it, hot in the oven.
I love how these things combine to make bread. Bread which strengthens man's heart, which represents the broken body of our Lord, which makes my toast and my sandwiches and the lovely warm buttered treat for during a movie at night. The life that was nurtured in wheat, then broken down and given to death, and battered and ground and completely changed, changes form into the order of bread loaves, and returns to life again as man takes it into him. It returns to greater life as it becomes, now, part of the Temple of God, part of this person which images the true Bread of Heaven.