Thursday, April 24, 2008

Promises, Promises...

I always go into school vacations with really good intentions.  I make a list of all the stuff I am going to get done.  I become annoyingly virtuous about the many things I shall accomplish and look pityingly upon all those poor individuals who do not have my high level of commitment to excellence.  I even make lists.

The vacation arrives.  I spend the weekend which kicks the whole thing off resting in preparation for my upcoming burst of finishing-frenzy behavior.  After that, it all starts to go downhill.

I suspect I just like the whole planning phase more than anything else.  Lists make me happy.  I have lists everywhere.  Some of them are years old.  It is unlikely that I am ever going to get around to finishing my Y2K preparations...

This vacation was no exception.  I had a list.  I had a plan.  I had what you might even call A Vision.  Now, to be fair, no one could have foreseen the whole nightmare with the truck and the sudden need to spend my children's college funds on a replacement vehicle.  There was a whole lot of sitting in a frozen panic whilst contemplating the best way out of this mess involved, as well as trying to convince myself that I could live without food for a couple of years if need be.  It was time well-spent, frankly.  I remembered that I don't actually have children so I didn't have to worry about any college tuitions.  That put things in a new perspective for me.

But that was really only a few days of angst.  I could have done far more on the to-do lists.  I was stuck at home for a while there and could easily have knit, spun or carded something in between bouts of paralysis.  But I didn't.  Nor did I clean the fridge, shampoo the carpets or take clothes to the donation center.  

There's about a million things I coulda done, maybe even shoulda done.  And didn't do.

I did, however, manage to pull off one little thing on the list.  A while back, the Future SIL asked if I had tried any of the recipes from the copy of Brother Juniper's Bread Book she gave me for Christmas this past year.  I was appalled to realize that I had not.  In fact, once the holidays are over, I tend to put the baking on the back burner.  Except that you bake in the oven and not on a burner so that metaphor is really kind of silly when I think about it.  But you get what I mean...

On Saturday, I broke out the book and made some of the foccacia with oodles of garlic.  Garlic is good when you are stuck at home with no car because it has an engine ready to blow up at any given moment.  It's not like it matters that your breath is capable of wilting mighty oak trees.  You're not going anywhere.  Foccacia is good.  Lots of garlic is even better.

Today, with an appointment to go visit with Mommy and Daddy Sheep on the social calendar, I decided to try a little of the sweet, whole wheat french bread.  I even followed the directions for making a round of bread instead of just a loaf.  Normally, I make lumps instead of loaves.  The bread sort of takes on a life of its own and expands like an alien life form intent upon consuming my oven.  But look:




It's round!   Really, really round!  


There wasn't room in the oven for two rounds so I tossed the rest in a loaf pan.  That worked, too!


Not as impressive as the round...but still kind of lovely.


If you, like me, have a love for the baking of the wheat with the yeast, I'd highly recommend that you scamper off for a copy of this book.  It's a fabulous resource as well as a cookbook.  It will help you make round bread.  Everyone should make round bread that doesn't morph into an amoeba sort of thing at least once in their lives.

It's not knitting.  Nor is it housecleaning or anything else remotely related to my Vacation To-Do list.  But it is edible.  Which is just as good...

SA

18 comments:

trek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trek said...

::comtemplating a midnight loaf of bread - which is what I would get if I started the process now::

Beth said...

Your bread looks lovely and delicious! There are still a few more days left for crossing off to-do list items. :)

mehitabel said...

I love to bake bread. Unfortunately, not only do I not own an oven at the moment--no stove at all--D5's oven died the day that D4 and I refugee'd to her house. So I shall have to envy your bread baking ability, and see if my good friend Trader Joseph has any good bread in his larder. (PS, I'm reading backwards so now must go see about your truck. I hope you had better luck withit than I did with mine!)

Geraldine said...

I too am a true lover of lists, making them, not always sticking to them. But try, try again, eh Sheepie? Your bread looks amazing, can I have a nice thick slice with a bit of jam plleeeeeeeeeeeease!

Hugs,G

PS: Mr. C sends his best headbonk to Cutie pie, Fluffy one of his dreams. Ok, that's really what he said. :<)

Knitting Linguist said...

Better even, because fresh bread is the ultimate snack (especially with butter)(mmm....buuuuuttteeer...). I know what you mean about lists. I start every day thinking I'm going to be SO productive. And then at the end of the day I realize, not so much.

Lazuli said...

I really like that bread book, particularly its meditative style. Not what I need in every bread book, but that one was definitely one that got me going on a bread-making kick. _Bread Alone_ is another of my favorites. Enjoy the bread!! Yum yum!

Julie said...

Vacations are not made for accomplishing things; they are made for napping and just doing whatever you feel like at the moment.

Your bread looks yummy!

Mia said...

Oh sheepie! VERY nice rounds ya got there ::laughing:: mmm.. I can smell it from here.

But wow.. is that school vacation over already? Time flies.

Patti said...

Annie - even Mel would have to agree that this is a delicious example of your prowess is the kitchen! Sorry your vacation is ending -- mine is just beginning. I also have lists -- hopefully I will accomplish something on them. Can't wait for summer when you can join us at Chicks on a more regular basis!

Karen said...

Sometimes vacations don't work out the way you plan but they end up being even better than you hoped.
That bread looks delicious. I wish there was a way for the smell to come through the computer...

Lynne said...

If I start now [11.14pm], there'll be fresh bread for breakfast! But... there's no yeast or breadmaking flour in the house and the shops are closed, and it is my birthday [=day of rest] after all!! LOL

Yours is inspiring though!

Donna Lee said...

I haven't baked a lot of bread since I got a bread machine. It makes me wonderful bread and dough. I love it with a deep and abiding love. I am a list maker. I love to cross things off, I feel so accomplished. Unfortunately, often the lists get lost before any crossing off gets done.

April said...

Sheepie, I am very impressed by your baking skills - you go, Girl!

Lists? Bah, we don't need no stinkin' lists!

Cursing Mama said...

possibly you are an overachiever in the making of to do lists too!

crzjane said...

That bread looks delicious! I love the smell of fresh baked bread. And the taste, words can not begin to describe. What a lovely round loaf of bread. You should be proud!

zippiknits said...

Oh I want that bread, the sort of oblong one but the round one, even. Soon I will be able to bake bread again, and of course it will be too hot. darn always something!

I make a list with five things now, some as entries as simple as "water the house plants."

Denise said...

If you only knew just *how* delicious that bread looks today. Oops, I think I just drooled a bit on my keyboard.

(note to self: do not visit Annie's blog again for duration of fast period...)