Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's bread got to do with it?

Since Valentine's Day is approaching, I am going soft and doughy on you:

"Love does not just sit there, like a stone; it had to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." -
Ursula K. Le Guin

When Miguel moved to Japan (to be with the love of his life, Yui) he couldn't find any good bread there. And Miguel really loves his bread. So he did what any modern day, starch craving human with a high speed internet connection would do: he watched a tutorial on you tube on how to make bread. He didn't whine like a baby and stomp his feet and say, "Japan is stupid. They don't have any good bread here. I guess I'll just eat stinky noodles." No, he said, "You Japanese bitches don't have bread? I'll make you some bread."
(Fact: In Japan, public displays of affection and talking on cell phones on the bus is not acceptable, but looking at porn on the subway is.)
Now bread has been on my list of things to make. I do the quick bread thing, but yeast is scary. So I was so excited, while on his visit, Miguel showed me how easy it was.
And we got to use my new food processor with the dough blade. The things that make me jump for joy are pathetic. That is some nice looking dough, I must say.
We used stone ground whole wheat from the Farmer's Market and we put some chopped pecans in, too. With this flour we also got a good sour dough starter going for a few days, but then we neglected it and it died. My excuse is that the website we used was stupid and convoluted.
See, bread can teach you a lot of things about love. First don't neglect it or it will die. And when it dies don't make stupid excuses about it.
Bread also teaches you about patience, not the first on my list of virtues. Sometimes you have to wait for it, and you don't have a choice. And while you wait you can still enjoy yourself. I imagined I'd be sitting there staring at the dough ball watching for some sign of life. But Miguel tucked it into a warm spot and we just let it be and drank some wine and cooked some dinner. And it rose up right on its own. Wait for it...
Miguel made these cute little dough balls out and let them rise some more in a long baking dish. More patience. Then it was into the oven. Miguel was smitten with my oven. I don't think there is anything really special about it, but he thought it was a great oven. Beats me.
After about an hour, he pulled out the most delicious warm crusty and nutty bread. He said it was his best so far. I am honored I got to eat the best one. Some melted butter on warm bread fresh out of the oven is perfection, just like love.
Sorry, I am making myself gag, too, but I needed to circle back to my point somehow!


Chef Fresco said...

Aww love it! The bread looks delicious. Happy Valentine's day!


Jen. In your words you really show a beutiful you are. Thank you so much for your story, I love it.


Jen. With this words you really show how beautiful you are. Thank you for the story. Love it. Besos.

Rocco Galatioto said...

Nonna thinks that there's God in bread so she will not throw any of it out, ever. And, therefore, she always eats stale bread. If she knew how much bread I give to the birds in the backyard she would have a fit.
Actually there's nothing like fresh bread. However as you know to me bread = Italian bread! Eaten cunsatu, Sicilian for fixed up, that is warm with olive oil a little sea salt and some pecorino...that's heaven. So nonna is right after all.