Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Selfish Baker: A Meditation on Bread Bowls

I shouldn't be writing right now. I have way too much work to do and I have pushed out of a lot of obligations to do it. But I need to vent for a moment on a baking-related topic.

My friends in my program at school wanted to throw a party, specifically a potluck. As I love to bake, I thought this was a wonderful idea. I was happy to contribute bread and perhaps other things. But all of my friends got really excited by the idea of bread bowls for soup. Although I was wary, I decided to go for it since it was going to make everyone happy. That was a terrible, terrible idea. The baking project required two enormous batches of dough and at least 12 hours of work; 12 hours I don't have with the amount of work for this weekend. The bread bowls are cute, but they very extremely in size and each one has various imperfections. At this point I don't even want to go; I need to catch up on my work so I can sleep this week. But, everyone is waiting and I have a huge amount of bread I can't eat so I have to.

Here is the lesson that I learned from this: bake either what is easy or what you want to bake. Do not bake to please. Baking (at least for me) is about therapy. I love working with dough and teaching others, but my interests are very selfish. I am involved with baking because I like to share the products (or process) of my meditations. In this case, not only was this process miserable, but as with bread bowls generally, more than half of this bread is going to get thrown out anyway!

Next weekend I am returning to the principle of selfish baking.

Note: Having gone for a nice long walk and done some homework I am feeling slightly less hostile. I think I will just try to remember in future to fully assess the task at hand before agreeing to it. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Note: The bowls were quite a success and the party was enjoyable. Afterward, I came home and did two hours of Greek. Still a lot to do, but I finished my Aeschylus and Vergil so things are looking in the right direction.

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