I frequently wear an Ontario handmade and dyed headband when I'm cooking which has the phrase, "Stay mindful" imprinted on it. It's a reminder to stay in the moment and live life day-to-day, celebrating what is as it happens. I think about that phrase as the flour sticks to my forehead, dough pastes itself to my cuticles, two timers beep simultaneously, croissants all of a sudden speed up proofing, the dishwasher finishes a cycle, I remember that I forgot paper bags on the counter at home, I curse out loud because I ran out of baking powder, and a Dandy Warhol's song begins playing on the radio.
I can't help but live in the moment or else something will burn. And sometimes it does.
My last post was a month ago! Oops. Winter got a hold of me and I'm just now beginning to thaw out.
It hasn't all been icicles and bitterness. Much of the past month has been spent the same way the two previous to it were: baking breads using locally milled whole grain flours and a whole lot of reading. Kamut, spelt, whole wheats, rye, amaranth, corn, porridges, sourdoughs, croissants, English muffins, sourdoughs, flat breads, bricks, and even my most perfect loaf to date. All this baking has thickened my waistline but expanded my bread powers. I'm looking forward to working off the dough and spreading the good word on whole grains with the sun on my shoulders throughout the coming seasons.
We can all use a little inspiration and a reminder that sun will once again bring the bountiful harvests to our gardens, markets, tables, and souls. Spring is just starting, but the next three months after which strawberry season arrives will be here before we know it.
On the third day of Elgin Christmas, we're celebrating with sweet, juicy strawberries. I realize locally grown strawberries aren't available at this time of year. This is when the art of preserving shows its value- I used berries that were washed and hulled back in June and then stored them away like a chipmunk. Flats and flats of berries were made into preserves, juiced into lemonade and some frozen whole. It's those whole strawberries I used to make chewy, creamy caramels.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.