Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gratitude 5--- the smell of baking bread

Scents build loyalty. Bees return to favored flowers just as we return to favored foods. They look good, but more importantly...they smell good.

Returning to the kitchen seemed like the wrong thing to do. Two craft shows in two weeks had consumed me and even though I had spent a bunch of time on Sunday prepping, the idea of stopping for ingredients seemed daunting. The idea of not baking bread after finally setting up kitchen time at school, seemed daunting. The man of two minds.

The middle road. Cut back--- make the whole wheat sage rolls, skip on the lemon thyme tea bread. I pull into the grocery store parking lot. I hit the school with ingredients and checked the e-mails that had arrived since I had left on Thursday, too many caused sighs. Read the notes from the sub. Organize my notes for biology and geology. I felt like a wreck. I like to ease into the day. I did not want to be this rushed. Baking was a mistake, clearly.

But OH MY, the smell of the bread baking. Was I a honey bee that dances to indicate to others a favored flower location, or a bumble bee that releases pheromones mixed with the scent of the favored flower to inspire a feeding frenzy? I handed warm bread to students.

Spirits rise and fall. The volatile chemicals produced by flowers enter the air and in unpolluted air will be caught by a moth antenna 1200 meters away. Zig Zag, till like any hungry critter, a beeline to the food. Add ozone to the air and the smog will destroy those chemicals after only 200 meters. Busyness destroys my ability to receive spirits of joy and peace. A cleaned kitchen, a final batch of rolls in the oven, a sharing of bread with students.

My hope is that my students will make beelines to good bread for the rest of their lives.

And here are some flowers that smell great and are just waiting for winter to be gone to brighten my nose and spirits...

morning after deluge 7-- pink rose opening


  1. Mmmmmm - I can almost smell the bread from here. Terrific post. It is eleven days until the solstice - for me, the start of the next growing season.

  2. Kathryn--- am curious to what you start on the solstice. we were looking through seed catalogs today. eyes burning with desire.

  3. We were baking in our class yesterday-oatmeal and raisin cookies. The kids are into such sensory operations in more ways than one. I'm mainly into the eating thereof afterwards...

  4. Jim--- I forgot the sensory experiences of crumbling dry sage (overload to some) and kneading the bread. Oatmeal raisins are a favored cookie.

  5. After reading this, I baked bread yesterday - the scent of the yeast, the miracle of the rising...the feeling of the bread under my hands.

    Thanks for reminding me...

  6. Michelle--- it is good for the senses in so many ways. I am baking more bread with the students tomorrow, plus the long awaited return of lavender brownies!!!!!


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