I love to cook. The cleaning up part may not be my favorite, but the actual cooking is something I love.
Today is an unexpected snow day here in our neck of the woods. The weather was messier than expected and the “no big deal,” turned into a “two hour school delay,” turned into “SNOW DAY!”
This coincides with the echoing refrigerator in my house. It is really, really empty. Shockingly so for a house with five people. And thus, I bake. A quick soup and some fresh bread makes me look far more put together than I actually am.
Today’s recipe source is The Panera Bread Cookbook. I’m the kind of person who actually loves to read cookbooks. All the better when there are little stories or musings on the recipes inside. This is more of a straight-up cookbook but has excellent info on baking technique, particularly around shaping breads.
Some are disappointed that it doesn’t have the items found on Panera’s menu. It really is more about bread, and some other types of items which transform the bread you’ve made (like crostini or French toast.)
Honestly, this is not about the particular book for me. There are amazing baking books out there. Today, it’s just about the act of creating.
My mom never bought bread from fall to spring — fresh baked only. This wasn’t about being earthy or healthy or back to nature. It was that she did the calculation and figured out that she could bake it for a lot cheaper than buying and money was tight. I remember hating the store bought bread that appeared in the summer. (In the summer we lived in a cabin on a lake — and I really mean a cabin. This was not a summer home or a second house. It was a camp, as we say back home, with an outhouse and no potable running water. Water was carried in jugs that we filled from the spigot at the store or at our house on the weekly shopping/laundry trip. But I’ve digressed. More about that another day. The bottom line is that it wasn’t exactly a place that baking regularly would have been easy.)
Back to the idea of today as a day of creating. Right now my kids are lying on the floor together, each with a sketch book, drawing superheroes. (This has never actually happened before. Shhh….They often play together but this drawing together thing is new.) I’m about to grab my notebook to get down some ideas for a couple book projects. And in the background is some music, the scent of baking bread, and lightly falling snow.
Talk about a day to renew spirits.