For the first time in many years, I’m making sourdough bread again! From the time I got married until my oldest kids were littl’uns, I had made sourdough breads of all kinds: white, wheat, multi-grain, cinnamon rolls, and Christmas stolen. The weekly wonder of making bread went the way of so many other things as life got busier and busier. Well, my life is no less busy (indeed it seems busier than ever!!) but I’ve been dreaming of making sourdough bread since before Christmas and I finally got some starter from mom.
It’s a two-day process, beginning with “feeding the critter”, as we used to call the jar that sits in the fridge, filled with the potato flake, sugary concoction which must be worked each week. In between the feeding, dividing, adding flour, sugar, etc. is a 6-8 hour “let sit and rise” process. The final step is placing the unbaked, risen loaves into the oven to bake, swooning over the smell as it wafts through the house, and thumping the tops for doneness. The best part is slicing off the end (I always claim the end piece!), slathering it with butter, and mmmm-ing your way through the fresh hot bread. So. So. Good!
Now, about that “let sit and rise” process…
I think, I must be a batch of sourdough. Maybe we all are! At least creatively speaking, I seem to move through life much like the process of making sourdough bread. At times, there’s a flurry of activity, ideas, making, drawing, writing, designing! Only to be followed by what feels like a lull or slump. What I fail to remember is that these lulls or slumps are actually where the good stuff is happening. These “let sit and rise” spaces, are actually where I’m growing, evolving! You can see it in the bowl…bubbles of sourdough fermentation…the goodness we then enjoy in the final product. It’s also helpful for me to note, that the “let sit and rise” hours are the BULK of the entire process. The flurry of adding ingredients and stirring it up lasts only a few minutes. THE GOODNESS IS IN THE SLOW PROCESS!
So…there IS a flurry of ideas rolling around in my head, a few of which I’m taking steps toward, and will soon be unveiled…stay tuned! But through all of it, I’d like to be able to hold onto this thought of “let sit and rise”. Keeping the creative horses at bay is quite difficult for me. But life itself has a way of providing the necessary “slow down” reigns. I’m in the middle of Art Show preparations for the school where I teach. It’s a monumental task to prepare, label, hang over 750 pieces of artwork, gather volunteers for the reception, get students to play music for the event, etc. This event which will take place February 7th, along with the myriad of family, kid, church activity that goes on, will certainly slow me down to a simmer.
I can only hope the slowness will add to the overall goodness in the end!