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Big Bread, Big Head

Myhalo has slipped this past month, and I want to explain (lay the blame on) my redundancy  last July, which seemed at

oily, doughy wonderful lump of stuff.

the time to be the perfect time to take a breather, but it’s turned into an amalgamam of finally facing up to all those Life Lessons I had shunned, before.  After a peaceful autumn and nail-biting winter, the much hoped-for job still hasn’t materialised.  I won’t bore you with the details, suffice only to say that I have applied for over two hundred jobs, not just in teaching.  As a housekeeper, I thought I’d have all that’s needed, great cook, tick,  great with children, tick, love animals, ditto and so, too, sparkly clean dusting abilities.  I found out I “lacked experience” to secure myself a job in this field.  So, I carry on tutoring, eking out mere hand to mouth monies.  Gloomy.

And what to buy, rather, how to buy food with very limited resources?  Difficulties, there.  I’ve got a veggie curry bubbling on the stove, even though I had no idea how to make one, I’ve got a pantry stuffed full of well intentioned spices, purchased overseas, sealed tight, and kept dark.  It smells wonderful, and cost all of £3.50 to buy.  I think I’m going to become an expert curry maker.

I’ve been baking my own bread for months, it’s so easy, and looks fabulous and tastes, well, like fresh baked bread.  I’d been doing simple wholemeal loaves, occassionally rye or soda, easy stuff.  And then I ran out of sturdy wholemeal flour, so made a white loaf.  Sinner!  My daughter didn’t like the idea, being a whole food organic kind of teen, but when that little loaf came out of the oven, I was suddenly in my Sicilian grandmother’s kitchen, or was I in the Italian deli, in Manchester?  It doesn’t matter.  The last time I was stunned and transported in that way was at a wine tasting, sipping something delicious called Barolo.  I could feel the bleached stone floor of the Sicilian kitchen, taste the iced water in the fridge, and salivated over whatever was bubbling on the old Aga-type stove.

Today, along with the curry replete with years-old and therefore double dessicated coconut (don’t tell), I’ve got a lovely lump of white dough in a bowl near the stove.  I’m going to leave it to burst up and over the lip of the bowl as I write this.  I read somewhere that some artisan bakers don’t put oil in the dough, but knead the dough on an oiled surface.  Great idea, I’ve tried it today.  The dough is almost alive in my hands, as I dreamily squeeze it and turn it, flip it and start again.  The oiliness has worked a treat on my housemaid’s hands (did I tell you I’m cleaning for a Grand House, at the moment?), my stubby nails and hardened finger tips.  A balm for hurt minds (Will Shakespeare was talking about sleep, but kneading oiled dough works just as well for me today).

I’m going to give the little loaf lots of love and leave it brewing and growing, becoming something wonderful.  It already smells great (I feel I need to say she or he, ‘it’ sounds so insulting).  I’ll sleep tonight being my own little loaf and letting myself rest and prove and gain in sustenance and body until I wake up, fully evolved.  Don’t you love metaphors for life?  Blessings to all.


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