Saturday, September 27, 2008

My inner earth mother

Way back a long time ago, when I had fewer children and therefore, more time, I was an earth mother sort.  I baked bread, tried out all sorts of new recipes, dried my own herbs, etc.  I really really enjoyed that, but I do have to say that it took a lot more time and resources (mental) than I have today.  But I've been really hankering for some bread like the bread we got at Meijer (on clearance it was $1.79 for a baguette!) and didn't want to pay the price.  So I took out my old sourdough starter and got it running again.  Then I pulled down the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.

Ok, here are my hippie credentials:  I own two Laurel's Kitchen books, two Molly Katzen books (the drawings alone are worth the price I paid for them, which was not much), two Crescent Dragonwagon cookbooks, and two Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks.  And yes, I have favorite recipes in all of them.

I was and am totally drawn to the idea of self-sufficiency.  Except for the work part.  If I thought that my labor would actually result in something positive, I'd be all for it.  But it seems like the labor I do is undone even as my hands are doing it, so that makes me much less inclined to do anything these days.  But a wistful part of me wants to live on a farm, raise animals, spin and weave, and sew our own clothes...You know, basically be Ma or Mrs. Wilder in Little House on the Prairie or Farmer Boy.  Alas, Friend Husband does not share those dreams and, in reality, I could see where having to do stuff like that would mean that we'd be hungry and naked before much time had passed.

Ok, back to the point, which was the sourdough bread and Laurel's Kitchen.  In my pathetic attempts to eat more healthily, I have been wanting to try to make whole wheat bread again.  The problem with my bread is that it is way too dense for most of my family to enjoy it.  I decided to read the book and try again.  And add onion powder and dill weed to try to approximate the taste of the storebought. 

Just reading the book brought me back to the time when my oldest two girls were little.  I have more confidence in myself now, but I had a lot more energy then.  And I just thought I was busy!  I love the way that the books (Laurel's Kitchen and the Bread Book) are written...just like you're hanging out in the warm, cozy kitchen and talking about bread while you make some.  It makes me want to be a better person.  It makes me want to bake bread.  But then there's that time thing coupled with the bread brick thing.

This is going nowhere, isn't it?  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I miss my inner earth mother.  She seems to be taking way too long of a nap and I hope that she wakes up soon and helps me out.  That is all.

(I'll let y'all know how the bread turns out.)


Stephanie said...

I posted a while back about artisan bread in five minutes a day. I've baked about 6 loaves and a pizza since I bought it 3 weeks ago. I'm totally sold... and while not truly and authentically 'crunchy' it's about the only way we're going to eat fresh bread around here.

acceptancewithjoy said...

My inner Earth Mother is being forced out of retirement. My sweet husband spent all day yesterday turning the ground for a 20X30 garden for me next spring. Last time I tried to garden, I made a square foot garden that was 2x4 feet. ARGH!!!

I have never, ever canned anything...

Oh, but I do love homemade bread. I made the kids Haitian bread recently and I will be making a challah tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You're from Austin, babe, that's plenty of hippy cred right there!

Plus, your very own cousin is attempting to make her own pickles.

Although, I don't imagine this trait probably comes from the Young-side exactly, my mama said when they married that my father had never eaten non-powdered mashed potatoes.

He also didn't know the significance of Easter, but that's another thread, no?

stringsofpurls said...

My daughter in law calls me Earth Mother. I love Birkenstocks, made my own bread until we learned we were the celiac family. My oldest son is afflicted and we just found out my dad has it, which means I'm the culprit...Love to cook, sew, eat food I grew or canned. But it is work. Lots of it. My husband is a TOTAL city boy. We laugh...he like polo shirts, i like him in flannel shirts. I like birkenstocks ( or crocs or other assorted comfy wear) , he prefers heels. So we let the other do what they like and everyone is happy. Little House in the Prairie was read aloud in its entirety to 4 separate children. I imagined myself as Ma. I miss my inner earth mother too, but Hayley says I am her, so that's what's important.