(Best of Celebrating Your Journey – December 9, 2011)
To all my readers: With 2019, the 14th year of my Celebrating Your Journey blog articles, “From the Heart” byline, I will be offering the “Best of the Best” articles you found helpful through the years. Many thanks to everyone who have given input and followed along w/ each month’s lifeskill—Relationships/Core Values, Time Mgt, Career/Money Mgt, Recordkeeping, Possessions, Housekeeping, Wellness, Meals, Childcare, Recreation/ Entertainment, Reflection, and Celebration. For my new readers, may these lifeskill articles offer you encouragement, insight, and commitment to seek, reach, and achieve your life dreams and goals in synergy.
Yesterday morning as I sat down in my office to tackle the pile of work in front of me, I booted up my computer to start replying to the accumulated emails. Yet, to my frustration, the internet connection was down….nothing coming in, nothing going out.
I sat there for a moment rethinking a work around. Then my husband came into my office saying he was going to bake some whole wheat bread from scratch, and would I like to join him. Since it was his first time at this adventure, he felt he needed a little supervision. Do I stay here and try to figure out how to get some work done or have fun baking some bread with my favorite person in the world?
No contest! Break time for baking bread won out. So, John pulled out our mixer and whole grain grinding mill. Being the orderly and creative scientist he is, I saw him carefully line up four glass loaf pans, the liquid ingredients on one side, the dry ingredients on the other—after grinding about 20 cups worth of whole wheat kernels and 5 cups of whole rye grain. Oh, I forgot to mention, he spent a couple hours last night rewriting my simple recipe of past years into a gourmet concoction.
I felt like we were in a chemistry lab and the professor was giving me lessons on the chemical reaction he believes will happen when we put together his blend of wheat flour, rye flour, olive oil, low fat goat milk, water, honey, banana (egg substitute for low fat grams), a little dough enhancer, sea salt, yeast, caraway seeds, and raisin syrup (which he also created the night before).
After following his recipe to the letter with all ingredients in the mixer and the dough hook doing its job for 8-10 minutes, we came up with a pile of awesome sticky dough to dig our hands into to shape into loaves. Putting some olive oil on our hands we dug in. It was so much fun…like being a kid again playing in thick mud. I also felt like I was back in one of my ceramic classes years ago kneading clay and shaping it into just the right size of balls for creating something on the potter’s wheel. But I was sure these balls, once baked, would be a lot more tasty!
It turned out that we actually had enough dough for 5 loaves. But John wanted to use the fifth ball to make my sticky buns I used to make when our daughters were just little ones. So, I got the chance to be the teacher instead of the student for once! He ever so carefully put together a raisin, cinnamon, honey, nut mix for filling. After spreading out the dough into a long rectangular shape, honey was dripped all over, then the raisin/nut mix was added. It was so funny to watch John so gently roll the long end of the dough as if he were handling a delicate piece of china. I had to get in there and poke my figure into it just to hear him say, “Don’t touch my work of art here!”
After cutting the “sticky bun” roll into equal pieces and placing them in a larger glass pan, all loaves and buns were covered to rise for the next hour. Forgot to mention again that John had to pull a little dough aside to make a couple hot dog shaped buns. He had to see how it tasted with his favorite turkey sausage hot dog.
After another hour went by baking his gourmet recipe in all its forms, the kitchen was filled with a wonderful, elegant fragrance no one could resist. So, what did John try first?…his hot dog bun of course! Then came a taste of his sticky buns for dessert. Needless to say, when I looked at the clock, the day was coming to an end. And I didn’t think about work and emails all day.
Why do I tell this tale? Simply because I learned an important life lesson again. This moment is the only moment you have to choose what you will do with it. So, I chose to celebrate a rare opportunity to share in the fun of baking and breaking bread together! Both of us are always so busy with “our own work” and “our own interests” that we often are in “our own worlds.” Time and life go by so fast without even pausing to gift and be gifted a moment to celebrate and treasure.
So, watch for those simple moments of opportunity when someone you love and care for invites you into their world. That opportunity may never come again. So, grab it. Be grateful for the chance to experience truly what is most important in life.