Back when I didn’t cook, I never understood my friends who told me that baking relaxes them. I do now. Baking bread is the perfect break from spending a rainy afternoon home writing.

Fridays are easy days for me. I teach at a company in the morning and then at a different company in the evening. Just for an hour and a half each. To make matters easier, both companies are a 30 minute walk from my apartment, so I don’t bother going to the English school where I spend most of my days. This friday I’m determined to write 5,000 words of my novel, which will get me over 15K. I had all afternoon, from noon to 4:30 and then the whole night. 7 o’clock on.

Ready, set, go!

 But wait, I have to think about dinner. As the huband made me a three course meal last night, filled with duck, onion tart, cheeses, and poached pears, it’s only fair that I return the favor.

So I wanted to write, I wanted to bake.

Let me take you through my day:

First I set up the workspace. All those papers are my outline and character sheets. I sometimes forget who is who.

I make strong coffee, disregarding my automatic drip and going for the cafetier instead. It’s Italian, its tasty. Like a reverse French press. And then I turn my oven to 220°C.

I had a half of squash I wanted to roast for use tonight. Spread on bread with a little bit of cream, onion, garlic – delightful.

I find my squash, emptied it of seeds, added garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and set aside. I don’t know about you, but my oven makes a little “tick” when it’s hot. So while I wait, it’s time to write. My coffee comes with me.

The oven ticks. I put my squash in, avoid checking my word count. Now I have 20 minutes to write uninterrupted. The coffee will keep me going.

Fifteen minutes into it, I check the squash. 10 minutes left. Back to the story.

When the squash is done, remove from the oven. Check the word count. 976 words so far. 11006 total. Not a bad start. And I continue.

Usually on Friday afternoons, I treat myself to a nap. No time for that today, and Pistou the cat has taken up my place on the couch for me.

A while later, my eyes hurt, the coffee is gone. It’s time for a break, and my squash has cooled. I peel and cube it, put it in a bowl and into the fridge until tonight.

Now it’s time to start the bread. I’m making flatbread today, which sounds good, but I’ve never made before. Here’s a recipe to work with: Flatbread from the Food Network I put on my apron because I’m wearing black pants and a solid blue shirt and there’s still work to do, and flour always looks out of place in an office.

Have 5 minutes while the yeast activates? Write! Write fast! How many words can I get? There’s already flour all over my keyboard from past breads anyway. I got 150 words. I think too much. But anyway, I put the bread ingredients together, follow the recipe, knead, cover, set aside. I had a good hour until the dough rises. I knew what to do. I keep the apron on, or I’ll forget when I go back to the dough later.

I wanted to make it to 3000 words for the day before I left for my class at 5. It was 3:45. Time to check on the bread. I was at 2628. I was tired and the bread was ready. 15 more minutes, I told myself. Can you make 372 words in 15 minutes?

3:59: Word count 13009. Success! Now to bread.

These is just a test before I make the bread tonight. I’ve never made flat bread before. So I just have a small piece of dough to roll out and cook.

Into the pan.

ZOMG! Warm, moist, wonderful bread. This will make an excellent pizza – I tell myself and finish the second piece, put on a plate and set aside for the husband. Cover with paper towel, because I’ve woken up some nights to find my cat licking my bread. Yeah -I know right?

Then I have to get ready for work and head out. It’s raining a little and windy, but the bus never comes on time so I have to walk.


There are plenty of fixings and a glass of Côtes du Rhone.

And then to writing. At the end of the evening my word count is 15049. So there you have it. Flatbread for 15K.

I’m trying to think of a dish that begins with T for 25K, but maybe I’ll just make myself a cup of tea when I hit that milestone. At this rate I’m going to gain 10lbs by the time November is over.