I have family coming in tonight and tomorrow, so today has me working happily in the kitchen. Along with the jello jigglers, butternut squash and lasagna on my to do list, I am also making a double batch of cinnamon rolls and a loaf of garlic bread. I don’t always make my own bread, but special occasions certainly seem to call for special fare. My kiddos love bread of almost any kind, and they get pretty excited when they see me working on a batch of homemade yeast bread.
On days like today, when I am in no hurry, I really enjoy working with yeast dough. It is truly therapeutic for me. As I knead the dough over and over again, my mind wanders to people I love and experiences I cherish. I think about my mom, who still makes cinnamon rolls to share on Christmas morning. I remember my Grandma Rayl, whose big, green Tupperware bowl I use for proofing my dough. I reflect on friends who have shared recipes and memories that were made over hot, crusty bread. I also remember all of the batches of yeast dough that have not turned out quite like I had hoped. (Argh!) While kneading the dough, I pray for my kids and for loved ones who come to mind. I even plan out what needs to be done next and look forward to upcoming events. It is truly a time of thinking–and sometimes even meditating–for me.
I need more of that. I need more time to just let my thoughts wander. Unplugged, yet productive. Quiet. Purposeful. Worthwhile. I am often surrounded by too much noise and not enough purpose. I can be busy, busy, busy…but busy doing what? And why?
Homemade yeast bread is work with a reward. It takes practice to get consistently good results, but it’s worth it. Even when things don’t turn out just right, there is a reward in its simplicity for me; there is always a lesson that can be learned. It’s a time-out for my spirit, a time to create something that will bring joy and sustenance to people I cherish.