Monday, October 10, 2011

The Scent of Bread

Bugs Bunny is singing, "Camp Town Races all day long, do dah, do dah, do dah day," on the TV. Soon I will have to cut my husband's hair. The washing machine is washing our quilt- too big really for a good washing but we have switched over to our down comforter for the extra warmth at bedtime. My ears anticipate the washing cycle coming to an end so I can throw in the next load. It feels like a stretch to think I have something to say, a thought to contemplate.

The Mule and I made piñatas (for Halloween). About an hour after we hung them outside to dry, there was a series of strange sounds followed by a loud noise- one of the balloons had popped. Generally, it is easy to make a piñata: cut strips of newspaper an inch or two wide; blow up a balloon; hang it with string; and form a slurry of white school glue and a bit of water. Then put the balloon into large bowl to hold it while covering one side and then the other with newspaper strips dipped into the glue slurry. Leave some space at the top by the handle to insert goodies later. Add more layers after it dries out. Repeat at least four times.
String up a balloon & set it in a bowl
Using newspaper & a glue water slurry, place strips on balloon
Hang the covered balloons up to dry, repeat x 4 for hard shell
I read the first chapter of Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Little House in the Big Woods to the munsters tonight. I never read her books as a child, but I did watch the TV Series, The Little House on the Prairie. I guess I should have realized there would be guns, butchering, and wild animals in it. The details such as dead deer hanging from trees, children playing with a hog's bladder as if a balloon, and the scraping to remove the bristles from the pig's skin, made me grateful I don't have to do that kind of labor. As the Moose said toward the end of our reading, "They didn't have a grocery store to go to like we do." Instead, they have an attic full of pumpkins and dried spices in which to play, smoked meat and salted fish to feed themselves through winter, and jars of lard and homemade sausages put up. I would guess they also had many practical skills that are unnecessary to modern life- making head cheese from a hog, setting bear traps, and knowing how and what to store for enough food to get through an entire winter. For some reason these kinds of stories leave me feeling weary in the "Why are we here?" mode. So much goes into surviving, what of living? It was only chapter one though.

Our bread machine plays, "Oh, Susana," when you set the timer. I am lazy at day's end as I don't want to put the ingredients into the machine, but I love coming down the stairs in the morning to the smell of bread baking. The Moose with his unbridled passion for life in the morning, today said, "Mama! Fresh Bread! You should come downstairs and smell it!" He comes up with lines daily to lure me from my lair.

On a recent lunch outing, I joined my husband and a friend, single and male, let's call him Man Cave, at our favorite Indian restaurant. I was a bit late, but smiled when I noted Man Cave had ordered two naan for lunch. I teased him saying, "Two naan!" He waved me off having done his fair share of morning exercise and said, "They should make women's perfume that smells like this," and then he inhaled deeply of the warm naan. I suggested he get a bread machine. "It makes naan?" he asked. "No, but it smells like warm bread."

Thoughts like, "The bread of life," and "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" float into my thoughts. It is not really the chores, the food preparations, or even the busyness that get me, but the constant interruptions do keep me distracted and bobbing along at a surface level. I mean between Bugs Bunny's singing, the bread machine's tune, the "Mama" curtain calls, and the, "Honeybunny this and that," I aim simply to describe. The scent of fresh bread will be wafting in the air of our kitchen at six thirty in the morning- at least some form of sustenance will be had around here.