Bread – Zero
Can’t I start already?
Dedicated to my trusty bread maker, which never complains, and always does well, though I am abandoning it on a bread journey.
Zero - in bread terms
Zero means nothing, no bread, though I find myself contemplating a recent bread with the old recipe, but baked according to the bread-guru recommended high temperatures. Zero because step one has not taken place and I am too busy to start. Zero because the baby is leaving for college and no children will be in the house. Zero because my parents are gone, which really was lousy of them if you ask me. Zero because I find myself rethinking practically everything at a time I should be completely settled. Zero because I am on the precipice and so want to take that first step already.
Zero is impatient with obstacles.
Not that the last few weeks of being at zero bread wise has meant inactivity. Baking for holidays and care packages and having people over and going elsewhere. Baking with an ambitious schedule and goal of sending care packages to my daughters with favorite homemade breads and treats. Maybe baking just to bake, to feel my grandmother’s rolling pin in my hands, to use the lovely blue circle-design bowl my sister gave me, to compare recipes ad infinitum on things I am trying out, and then the lovely aroma of butter and flour and vanilla filling the air. And cooking soon one of my mother’s recipes, actually an ancient recipe, perhaps a thousand years old, handed down from my grandmother, who made it until she was no longer able, a connection to generations of mothers I come from, whom I wish I knew.
Zero prompts whys and wherefores
And zero because I really do not know why I am doing this. Why should I embark on baking on whole lot of new breads? I want to volunteer, to go back to the novel I stopped writing seven years ago, to buying cute clothes, to taking classes, to reading for hours without end. After making bread for so many years, back about 13 years, and now with my husband hardly eating bread and no kids who need sandwiches, really cannot answer why. Because.
I am capable of much. Evidence the recent triumph of walk-in closet cleaning that took four months, maybe an extra month, okay at least an extra month, when Rebecca, my friend who passed away, was in dire straits and then, when the miracle was one of friends supporting her and her family instead of the miracle of a cure, I had no patience for closet cleaning. Still I went back later and finished cleaning the closet. Looks fabulous, organized, redecorated and with new containers. And baked for over a month. And shopped and shopped for the college preparations, as if buying a trousseau, except with jeans.
Success at parenthood is like success at dating: the accomplishment renders the skill set obsolete.
Zero is (actually, was - this was weeks ago) at the point of taking a long-planned vacation with my husband, after the trip to bring our daughter to college, so that I don’t want to start baking and stop when I get some momentum. But due to the vacation and weekends away for so long after we get back, family obligations, when the heck will I progress beyond zero? Zero is not knowing whether after bread one or two or three, I will be done with this and never reach 108. Maybe when I get to number one I’ll explain why 108. Now it’s time to make dinner, which reminds me I pretty much hate to cook and I love to bake and I don’t know why.
One month later
– Remain at zero due to timing. Going out tonight and not confident there is enough time for the first step of the first bread. Do not want to rush and bread will not be where it needs to be before dough goes into fridge. It’s enough that I have barely educated myself in the bread making process, well, bread making without a bread maker machine. Still, have picked out a recipe from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, a nice whole wheat with olive oil, which approximates what I made before. Number one will be incremental from negative one. Takes time to dip one’s toe in the cold ocean and to jump in. Should watch the bread video again.
And to my bread maker, my machine of comfort, the next bread, the first in the 108 bread journey might not be too much of a bread; to my bread maker, I am filled with gratitude. You laid the ground work for this, whatever happens.