Saturday, January 6, 2018

Baking Epiphanies

Today is the last day of Christmas, the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the visit of the wise men to Jesus.  For more on the theology of it all, see this post on my theology blog.  I thought I might get up and make some sort of bread, but I am short on flour, so I'm waiting a bit.

I bought all sorts of cookie ingredients a month ago that I still have, but I'm short on flour.  Sigh.

I would like to have a meditative Epiphany, but that's not likely.  We have some family members coming tomorrow, so we need to do some shopping, some clean up, some food prep--and we're both fighting colds, so there's that to navigate.

Last night, I started on my project to combine the fiction and poetry bookcases and to sort through the poetry volumes.  I am amazed at how many volumes I have.  I said to my spouse, "I am feeling two states that cannot exist simultaneously.  I am surprised at how many volumes I have that I want to keep, and I am surprised at how many I have that I simply do not care about."

Several hours later:  I decided to go to the WalMart Neighborhood Market, the minute it opened, which I did.  Of course, I forgot the cold medicine:  luckily, I was still in the car in the parking lot when I remembered.  So I reparked the car, went inside, and got the cold medicine. 

As I walked to the car, I noticed something like snow behind my car.  So I was not surprised to get home to find that the bag of sugar had left a small sugar drift in the back.  Happily, it was a fairly easy clean up.

So, we have some cold medicine and some firewood (which ripped the sugar bag) for this chilly day.  I also got flour, so I have the first and last batch of Christmas bread dough rising.  I decided to make a variation of the Day of the Dead bread recipe which you'll find in this blog post if you scroll down.  I decided to use some of the ingredients that I bought and didn't use for cookie baking:  dried sweetened orange slices which I chopped in the food processor, and almonds, which I also ground with sugar in the food processor to make a filling.

As I used the food processor, I thought about the fact that it was a Christmas present from my parents in 1987.  I had been hoping for a VCR, and I had trouble hiding my disappointment.  But the Cuisinart has outlast any VCR we've had, along with a DVD player or two.  Most months, I use it more than I use the computer to view entertainment.

I've never used it to knead bread dough.  I bake in much bigger quantities--plus, I really like getting my hands in the dough.  I should do it more often.

As I was paging through recipes last night (after the book sorting), it was interesting to see the ads from those Bon Appetit pages of many years ago (the early 80's).  I thought of my undergraduate years when I had no access to a kitchen and yearned to bake.

I am still always happy when creating yeasted dough, although these days it's more often for pizza than for traditional breads.  It's time to return to my bread dough--and I mean that in more ways than one!

An epiphany for Epiphany.

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