Sunday, July 01, 2007

On baking bread...and digressing mightily


Baking bread started as a way of occupying myself, looking for another activity that I could do at home, after years of flower/green arranging and sewing (evening activities) this was another thing to keep my hands busy and my mind sane, next to some other time and mind consumers like children, a husband and volunteer work. I always -and still have- had my ups and downs with me being a stay at home mum, about not contributing in any significant way, about being stared at as if you are from another planet: "oh, you don't have a job? -Barely concealed snicker-: "Oh I do admire what you do but for me that just wouldn't do it, I need to develop myself and keep in touch with you know the real world" Aaargh, you snobby high heeled beep that's exactly what I am dealing with here, I am very much in touch thank you. And by the way, I am one of the people that makes that your kid has all these fun things to do in school. Dûh. But still, dent in my self esteem, not showing to the outer world but the imprint is there.

In searching the net I just stumbled on to this! You have to read it! Can we get any crazier? Alfa and Beta Moms in the Daily Mail. I think I choose to be a Delta mom as in flying high above all these petty nonsupporting thoughts. Tsk! And on another note, click here to read what it feels like...)

More time on my hands lead me to think I could go back to a paid job (yay!) although I discovered rapidly that as kids grow older they will need less hands-on management but still crave attention one way or another. (Can't really tell how much of this is "used to mom being there for us" but I haven't got the guts yet to let them -and myself find out).
I thought bread baking was going to be a nice little side step away from the other trouble I stirred up (hah, little did I know), I would feel accomplished, feed my family, the fruits of my labour wouldn't sit around for ages. "No we can't throw that out, Mum made that!"That's another thing why cross stitch never was an option....besides the fact that I can't keep count. Never ever did I think that this bread baking was going to be a time consuming hobby, expanding into a never ending -wish-list consisting of new books, new pans, flour and new recipes that need to be baked!

rustic potatoe julia

The blog I started on a Sunday afternoon was a result from the bread baking as well. I was home alone, waiting for my bread to come out of the oven (!) so I could take it with me, back to a friends birthday party I left for a couple of minutes, meanwhile searched the Internet for recipes.... What I found was not only a wealth of recipes but blogs as well, food blogs! People that like me, loved to cook and/or bake, and wrote about it and showed their results. I found a way to capture my baking and write as well. (And another time consuming hobby.....).

This being said, what I didn't think of was that these guys under my roof are growing like, eeh well you know, growing like boys, and that's not the worst part, they eat as if they're going to grow tall as a tree... I can bake all day and always be behind schedule. I've even gotten as far as leaving little notes on my cooling loaves that say: Keep off!! Not photographed yet! Has to COOL!

Just for fun, a few days in shorthand and an introduction to my newly acquired books!

Saturday: two smaller pan loaves, Exceptional Breads by Dan Lepard, whole grain, lasted a day and a half.

Sunday I made three ciabatta's, -pictures will follow-, from Peter Reinhart the Bread Bakers Apprentice. Friends came over for a glass of wine, brought some cheeses and spreads, one ciabatta accounted for. It was nearing dinnertime, I had a pot home made vegetable soup, 9 people having soup...bye bye ciabatta!

(first picture) Monday I had 8 mini Anadama breads baked in a mini loaf pan, and their bigger regular sized brother...disappeared in a day. (again the Bread Baker's Apprentice). I love my mini-loaf pan, they make cute little bite size slices of bread, or when you wield your knife in another direction more than bite size sandwiches.

Monday night: two rustic potato loaves (Baking with Julia, middle photo). Shhhht, still one left!

Tuesday: two Swedish limpa's (Baking with Julia), cooling as we speak and not even discovered by the crowds. Photos to follow soon.

Edit: planned to post this a week ago, don't know what's going on here, some evil spirits have taken a hold on my laptop.... can't post, can't do pictures, nothing!


  1. Those are both really excellent articles but I like the second one best. She seems to really best take you there.
    You are so lucky to have those three fabulous calorie burners churning through all that bread!
    I love your bread.

  2. Wow, you are a bread making fool lately. The results are fantastic.

  3. Enjoyed your post and the articles! From what I saw, you are doing a bang up job with your boys!! And they are sooo lucky to have mum baking all those gorgeous breads! You will have them really spoiled for the girls they will marry -- or you can just teach them how to bake their own bread!!

  4. hahaha, wat maak je je toch druk. Het gaat erom dat je je leven inricht zoals jij dat wilt, en wat iemand anders daar dan van denkt te moeten vinden... sois! Helaas ligt mijn talent niet in de keuken dus MOEST ik wel gaan werken, moet toch WAT doen! Zo kun je het ook bekijken.

    Helaas heb ik me er niet toe kunnen brengen om de artikelen te lezen, doe ik wel als ik op mn werk ben (hmm, ambtenaartje he?!) voorlopig blijven we gewoon doen wat we doen. Lijkt me heerlijk.

  5. I just so know that feeling... sometimes afraid that when the kids are old enough, nobody will ever want to pay this old woman for working!
    Still..I spend the whole afternoon at school doing inventory of the schoollibrary (although small; still time consuming) unpayed of course. This breadbaking and blogging takes all time you have left (and more) so with those tall boys eating it all away that's a compliment and your bread always looks good. And so do the boys!
    It's just unfair that we don't get paid or praised by the 'working' world for all the work we do at home...for free ...with love...

  6. Your bread looks gorgeous! Wish I had time to bake these days, but I DO want the Mint Mirror recipe please!

  7. @Nancy: je hebt hartstikke gelijk en over het algemeen lukt het me wel om er niet al te erg mee te zitten, maar soms komt er dan weer zo'n opmerking van iemand....Wurgneigingen!

    @Lien: we're on the same track! Spot on!

    @Claudia: thks, will get the recipe to you asap!

  8. Oh, you've made limpor, I never dared to do that!

  9. thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings on be a sahm. my mom did it too, for 7 unruly kids! she then went on to get her PhD, and now works with other people's unruly kids, LOL! you can do whatever you want, but i think you're doing great! keep inspiring me to bake bread!

  10. My cousin Iris, who was a stay at home mother (and is a fabulous artist) told my mother, who also was a stay at home Mum, raising us, that she had an answer for snooty types , who asked her, "and what do you do all day?"-as if she did nothing at all. She always said, "Oh, I'm finishing my book."

    And it was true. After all, both she and my mother were always reading something interesting (!), as many of us employed outside the home are not! I quite like my job, as jobs go, but there's always something else-useful or otherwise that I'd prefer to be doing.

    My daughter , as a teenager, once babysat for a young career couple , and their 2 children. When she came home, I asked her how it went. She said it was okay, but there was "something funny" about their house. she couldn't think what it was, it just seemed odd.

    A few days later, it hit her. "Mum, there were no books for adults in the house at all, only a few kids' books!" I thought that was very sad, but perhaps they didn't miss it at all.

  11. Met veel plezier lees ik, u onbekende, deze (en ook andere) voedselblog(s). Koken is ook mijn passie en ik wil jullie graag attenderen op mijn eigen weblog:

  12. I love the little husband can't stand all the ones I leave him telling him not to touch because I didn't take pictures of it yet.


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