Ten years ago I took a stab at my first loaf of bread. It was a complete and utter disaster. What emerged was approximately the shape, size and consistency of a shot-put. If I were looking for a home-protection device, I had nailed it. So for the next…oh…eight years I gave up on bread. No that’s not true. I ran away from bread.
Add a *cough* decade and I’ve gone all mad scientist on y’all. After my surgery in February (which I’ll talk about in another entry, I’m sure), I started my own seed culture which later turned into a starter. Or barm if you’re fancy. I am not fancy. My starter is named Agnes, and she’s 5 months old and lovely.
Introducing Agnes, the starter.
PS. remember to use a big enough container when you go from seed culture to barm or else you end up with something akin to the Stay Puff Marshmallow man.
Ask me how I know…
It’s gotten so ridiculous I plan for her maintenance during storms, when our fridge died and we had to wait on its replacement (she lived in her own cooler with her own ice packs)!
So from shot-put to boule in 10 years isn’t so bad. Not to mention, even my disasters are pretty tasty (aside from the few times I forgot salt. Sorry folks who had the misfortune of being fed bad bread!!!)
I don’t particularly know the point of this entry. It certainly doesn’t relate to writing. Or perhaps it does? If I’d given up 10 years ago on my bread with the unmitigated disaster that was shot-put loaf, then I’d never be making bread now. And I probably make a few loaves a week.
I’d have chalked it up to something I’d never be able to do. Instead, I started small. Tackling things I could do: banana bread, yeast rolls, king cake, cinnamon rolls. Until one day I said “what are you afraid of?” Do the seed culture. What’s the worst that will happen? It doesn’t work?
I think there’s a lesson in that for most of the things we want but are afraid to reach for. What are you afraid of?
If the worst thing that happens is a no. Or a loaf of bread that becomes bird food, what’s the harm in trying? So send the query. Bake the cake. Let your seed culture take over the countertop (ok maybe not that…but honestly, it’s just a little mess. And life’s a mess. So why not try?).