making friends with the enemy

my first sourdough loaf

Healing comes in all shapes and sizes.  If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought that bread would offer me some kind of therapy I would have laughed at you!  I would have said  “no way, bread is what drives me to NEED therapy”.

But oh, how this universe likes to surprise us.  It all started when a classmate offered up some Amish friendship bread starter casually in class one day.  Intrigued by the idea of anything fermented and edible, I gladly accepted.  Now I’m hooked.

I’ve baking bread every 10 days since!  I discovered something magical about the process of baking bread.  It’s slow.  It requires patience.  Like a fine wine, the starter gets better with age, so every turn of the dough (10 days) offers up something new.  It’s kind of like creating a culinarly legacy.  I hope that over time I can create my own unique flavor of homemade breads.

The process of making bread is therapeutic in itself.  Diving my hands into the dough, feeling it run through my fingers is extremely liberating and just plain fun.  Working with my hands soothes me and it’s a great compliment to my studies, which get me caught up in my head way too often!

aah, the joys of kneading

And oh, how the house smells so warm and comforting when fresh bread is baking.  I love the responses I get from my hubby and landlord.  It’s like the pied piper calling when that bread comes out of the oven.

The best discovery of all is how good I feel when I share this bread.  I’ve given start to some friends and classmates…now we have fun chatting about it, swapping ideas, and going off on tangents about other edible creatings.  I’ve even sent some in the mail to distant friends and it warms my heart to think that they are keeping the process going.

Bread is one of the most fundamental foods of life.  We break bread together to nourish our bodies, but also our spirits.  I’ve realized that I was missing a deep sense of connection to people.  I’m around people all day, but that is not the same as being connected.  By making bread and sharing it, I feel like I’m doing some sort of kindness to people I care about, and in return getting kindness back.  Everybody loves homemade bread.  It’s something we can all relate to and to receive something hand made is a treat in this modern world.

So, me, the offwhite girl, must pay homage to the thing I’d gone without for so long.  Funny thing, the more I make it for others, the less I want to eat it in excess.  It’s too special to abuse with mindless eating or binging.

So, if any of you want some start, let me know.  It’s my own little brand of offwhite sourdough and it’s delcious!

One thought on “making friends with the enemy

  1. carrie May 27, 2010 / 5:26 pm

    i love this discovery and embrassing experience you have with the the bread you are making.

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