Monday, August 31, 2015

Waking up and smelling the freshly-milled flour

A quick post to say I think I am back. After months of hardly making bread and not making any new breads to qualify for my 108, I recently baked two new breads, which will be numbers 79 and 80. Preview: They are both combinations of freshly-milled barley and whole wheat flours.

What happened? Vacation, unexpected business trips, and my friend's son's death. The summer was supposed to be a relaxing, happy time. Turned out that new work projects turned my never-travel job into a suddenly lots-of-travel job, which is good, but traveling messes with bread making and other home endeavors. The travels, personal and business, were wonderful, though I returned home each time with a need for R&R more than anything else.

The death really stopped me in my tracks. None of us controls the world and the sudden, needless death of a sweet, promising young man sent that message home big time. To see my friend, her husband and their surviving son have to suffer this loss is truly awful. For a long while, this news sapped my energy to work, make bread, or think about anything remotely frivolous. I did not know this boy well because I met him when our children entered high school. Unlike the pre-school and elementary school friends, the high school peers do not enter the parental universe unless they become our children's close friends.

But I knew this boy through every conversation over the years with his mother and our hearts and our time are still with his family. 

And the bread? It has waited. I am finally getting pleasure from the new flour mill, finally pondering what and when on the Jewish holiday challahs as the holidays quickly approach, and finally considering breads and other baking as life returns to a nice normal.

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