In response to my own mid-life crisis post, I decided to take action. I suppose I should have done this sooner in the holiday season, but better late than never. I decided to bake bread. It won’t cure all of my doubts, but the aroma of baking bread in my oven is soothing and calming, maybe even rejuvenating. Bread is such a basic food, one that I take for granted. The process this morning was pretty simple (NB: Hanna, the stand mixer), and the waiting time while the dough was rising gave me pause to do household chores while also playing with Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man. The bread is baking now, and the whole house seems warm and smells like a bakery. With the rain and dark outside, it makes me feel safely ensconced in the lap of my family.
Baking bread is an experiment, and I hadn’t tested my baking skills this season. I made food that my family liked (well, with that misguided exception of the date spread for MES, my vegan step-daughter), and I cooked for neighbors and family, but none of it was a stretch. It was food that I understood, felt comfortable with, and had confidence in my ability to create. Bread seems daunting, maybe because we are so used to purchasing it already made in those plastic packages.