Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happiness baked in

Yesterday at supper, the recently married daughter person insisted we each had to share something that made us happy during the day. I though it was a great idea (although I didn't let her know that) and very convenient that she started this happiness sharing about the same time I noted on My Minnesota my own efforts to be more appreciative of what I have rather than focusing on how to get what I want and don't already have. Then, this morning, I came across this notice that the Pope is sharing A List of 10 Tips for Becoming a Happier Person. It must be something in the air or the time of year.

Anyhow, here's some of what made me happy today:
  • I scooped flour from a flour cannister made by Guillermo Cuellar, who was featured on Minnesota Original some time ago. 
  • As this is being written, I'm baking artisan bread with that flour in a cloche from Guillermo. (I keep trying to develop a more artisanal life style.)

  • bread on the left, cloche on the right, cook book in front
    bread on the left, cloche on the right, cook book in front
    Photo by J. Harrington

  • At the bird feeder we've had a hairy woodpecker and ared bellied woodpecker, you know the red bellied with the almost entirely red head, plus purple finches and the usual chickadees and nuthatches and goldfinches
  • I'm warm and dry; this morning's coffee was great, as usual; and, to go with the bread, we're having home made french onion soup for dinner.
  • Oh, yeah, and, despite the inconvenience the snow and cold brings on, it also brings this kind of beauty to the neighborhood


a dusting of beauty, November snow
a dusting of beauty
Photo by J. Harrington

Bread

By Richard Levine 

Each night, in a space he’d make
between waking and purpose,
my grandfather donned his one
suit, in our still dark house, and drove
through Brooklyn’s deserted streets
following trolley tracks to the bakery.

There he’d change into white
linen work clothes and cap,
and in the absence of women,
his hands were both loving, well
into dawn and throughout the day—
kneading, rolling out, shaping

each astonishing moment
of yeasty predictability
in that windowless world lit
by slightly swaying naked bulbs,
where the shadows staggered, woozy
with the aromatic warmth of the work.

Then, the suit and drive, again.
At our table, graced by a loaf
that steamed when we sliced it,
softened the butter and leavened
the very air we’d breathe,
he’d count us blessed.


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