Sometimes I Actually Get It Right

17 01 2011

And if we are not mindful, the chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing. ‘Tis as a single day.
~ Robert B. Baird

Today I had a bizarre onslaught of domesticity. I know! Trust me, I’m as weirded out by this as you are. I did dishes, I washed clothes, I folded said washed clothes, and I even baked bread!

I’ll give you a moment to gather your wits while you process this information. I know it’s startling.

The thing is, I’m a lazy baker. I hate kneading dough. I mean, it’s work and stuff, and if there’s an easier way to do it, I’m all over that. Enter: the bread machine. When Car and I were married, we received a bread machine as a gift. I used it from time to time with varied results, but always hated the square loaves it produced. It wasn’t until a Relief Society meeting over a year ago that I discovered I could make the bread machine do the hard part (kneading) and then I could shape the loaf and bake it in the oven. Magic!

Stay with me, folks. I promise this is going somewhere.

So there we were, smack in the middle of the “I don’t have to actually knead anything” phase of breadmaking wizardry. Big G pulled a chair up to peer through the little window—after all, what’s more fascinating than watching dough rise between kneading cycles? Then we adjourned to the living room, where Big G watched a show about (what else?) space and I folded clothes.

But where is Little G in all of this? A fine question and, let’s be honest, one that should’ve occurred to me before I heard beeping from the kitchen. Beeping? Yes, beeping. Bread machine beeping. I ran into the kitchen, only to find Little G standing on the chair—left behind by Big G, carelessly ignored by mom—and pressing buttons.

“No, Little G! NO! What are you doing?! You don’t press buttons!” I looked at the bread machine. The time remained read 3 hours 48 minutes—odd, considering the cycle I initially selected (dough) is just over an hour long. “Little G! You ruined the bread!”

I lifted him off the chair and set him on the floor, trying to figure out what he’d done to the stupid machine or where in the cycle I was.

Little G burst into tears.

I looked at the lump of dough, then at my sad little 2-year-old. Fat tears spilled down his cheeks. His lip quivered, and he ran around the kitchen with his pillow clutched to his chest. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

As I spared one last glance at the dough, I had a sudden realization: I yelled at my little boy because he messed with maybe a dollar’s worth of ingredients. Yes, there was time invested, but certainly nowhere near enough to warrant a sobbing boy.

I sat on the floor, held out my arms, and—I love this so very much about kids—he ran straight into my arms. “I’m so sorry, baby. I love you.”

We sat on the kitchen floor for a while, hugging and sniffling, and then I decided to see if I could resurrect the bread. In case you’re wondering? The answer is “sort of.”

 

I kneaded and shaped it, but something just wasn't right...

I know. It’s pathetic. But it was baked with love, dang it! And, you know, the baking part made it look a teeny bit better, right?

 

If you squint a little, it almost looks...artistic?

The good news is, though it looks ridiculous, it still tastes good. Hooray! That’s what matters, right? (But, you know, if any of you out there live close to me and want to spend a few minutes showing me how to shape a loaf of bread…let’s just say I won’t say no.)

Still, I love that loaf of bread for what it represents—one of those treasured (and, sadly, all-too-rare) moments I manage to pull back and recognize what’s really important. In that respect, it’s the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made.

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8 responses

18 01 2011
Mimi

You should get a kitchen aid mixer… It’s awesome!

18 01 2011
meredith

curiosity might’ve lumpy-ed the bread, but did not kill the little g. or the sweet mama love.

ok, so the adage didn’t really work.

whatever.

18 01 2011
Peter

Great story. Those realizations usually dawn on me well after the fact, when all I can do is beat myself up for overreacting. Good for you–for your actions, and for being suddenly domestic!

18 01 2011
Rachel

Way to be the mature adult Jenny! And your domesticity astounds me.

18 01 2011
danessa

That was beautiful Jen.

18 01 2011
Cat Lady

It looks like my thighs. So much for the resolutions.

18 01 2011
andygirl

all that matters is how it tastes!

18 01 2011
Nicole

That’s a really sweet story! I often freak out over things that really don’t matter, then feel awful about it. I knead to be more like you and enjoy the misshapen loaves in life.

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