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.
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.