I make a lot of bread. Actually, I do quite a bit of cooking in general, but having homemade bread in the oven seems to root me to something bigger than myself. I’m not just consuming, I’m actually creating. And even though it’s something small and insignificant, I made it, just as thousands of others have done before me. And really, nothing beats a crackling crust and a soft crumb. So, I make a lot of bread.
The thing is, I don’t spend a lot of time making bread. I don’t kneed. I don’t proof. I don’t spend all that much time in the kitchen. Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The title is a bit kitschy, but it really is true. By making a very wet dough that uses a bit more yeast, it takes no time at all. The book has a few editions and variations, but they all have delicious recipes, and the overall concept is the same. You add and mix your ingredients, let it rise, bake what you want to use, refrigerate the rest of the dough to use later, and voila. Homemade bread.
I’m not trying to sell you the book, though the book is awesome, but I’m inviting you to slow down for a second. Maybe think about how cooking isn’t just an act of consumption, but an act of creating. I get a little overwhelmed throughout my day thinking about how much my family and I consume, so it’s nice to slow down once and a while (even for just 5 minutes a day!) and create something. Poetry. Art. Photographs. Music. Bread. Clothes. Plants. Something that fills our bellies, hearts, minds, and souls. Bringing beauty to our world, in the smallest of ways. For me, it’s freeing. It’s life giving. Mindlessly consuming starts to wear on me and mixing that dough, letting it rise and sitting it on my counter gives me a little purpose in my day and grounds me back to my family and home. It’s a beautiful thing. I think that’s why I created this writing space for myself. To write and create, yes, but also to be read. There’s a circle in creating because what we create needs to also be consumed by others. We cook so that others will eat. We write so that others will read. We paint so that others will see. We compose and play music so that others will hear. We sew clothes so that others will wear. It’s a pattern, a circle. One that we are a part and must contribute to. And that’s why it’s important to create and not just consume. Make this world diverse and unique by filling it with yourself and offering it to others. I can’t wait to see what you make.