I started baking bread years ago when my kids were little. It felt very therapeutic to knead and bake homemade bread. The smell, well I probably don’t need to go on about the smell of fresh bread baking…let’s just say it’s pretty close to heaven. Raising small children can be all consuming. Multitasking was just something you do ALL. THE. TIME. Baking bread was a way for me to focus on one thing. The actual “hands on” time is fairly small, and then waiting. Always teaching me to cultivate patience.
Years ago, I was given a bread machine. You know the kind, it even came with a package of all the dry ingredients and all I had to do is add water and turn it on. It still smelled delicious and even tasted OK, but it felt a little like cheating. To me, baking bread is a process. Sometimes a lengthy process. If you skip a step or try to rush, you might have to start over, or the finished product might not be very good. Same things happen in life…
Moving through life’s hiccups can be a tedious yet necessary progression. If you try to take a shortcut, you might lose the path and must begin to find your way again. When I was teaching yoga, I would start the year off with a guided meditation for my students. It went something like this:
Take a moment to look at your life. Start with your first memory and begin to make your way through your life. Travel trough your teenage years, your 20’s, 30’s etc. Try to avoid making judgements or wishing things were different. We can’t go back. Consider the choices you made along the way. Visualize your life as a river. Did you ride with the current, or did you paddle upstream? Did you stay in the big wide river or did you venture off into a tributary? Now bring yourself to the present moment. Look downstream. Where is your river going this year?
Try baking some bread, and stay in the moment. Feel the dough as you knead it. Smell the delicious aroma as its baking. Taste the sweetness of your efforts. Contemplate where your river may take you.
Now for the recipes. French toast is a hit at our house, so I have been playing with different breads toppings and methods. The first is Chopped Apple Bread French Toast topped with whipped cream. The second is Blueberry Bread French Toast with blueberry cream cheese topping. The third is regular French toast for the freezer. Happy baking!
**Photo cred to Caeley Murray