sourdough

Day 67 – 52 Good Things

As states start to open up, my confidence in being in public waivers. I felt brave and brought cookies to a friend. Panicked when someone I know got tested. Went to the hardware store to buy flowers and wanted to yell at those not wearing masks. I wonder if I’m missing out by staying home and still practicing presence by remembering to take things one moment at a time. I’m still home and still counting. Here are a few more good and beautiful things, even during a pandemic.

What’s on your list? Send me an email and we’ll keep counting together.

190. Irises cut fresh from the front yard

191. Plant starters given freely

192. The promise of tomatoes

193. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

194. Ham and cheese and bread

195. Clean water with slices of lemon

195. The Fitzgerald cocktail 

196. Bike Rides through neighborhoods

197. Waiting for Colorado Strong Pale Ale

198. Big, long, snotty cries

199. Puppy snuggles

200.  Warm nights with the windows open

 

 

Blursday Favorites

Recently, someone I love received a meeting request for time on Blursday at 2 pm.

Blursday. That about nails it.

I’ve been here 46 days now and in the blur, forgot to share a few of my favorite things. Here are some items getting our tiny family through quarantine.


Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread

Yoga with Adrienne videos using this mat and this bolster

Starbucks Pike Place Coffee with Vanilla Torani syrup– they also do instant if you are into the whipped coffee craze

Health supplements including Tumeric, Zinc, Echinacea Sleepytime Tea, and Power Adapt for my anxiety

We’ve attempted to play Scategories and Catch Phrase online with friends

I’m late to the Schitt’s Creek party, but it’s hilarious and I now want to buy this mug. While Stevie is my favorite character, David is close behind. These stickers are fun.

My at home desk now has these pens, this notebook (pages come pre-numbered!), and I’ve been using this light to fight the basement blues.

I’ve also read the following books:

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

In Pieces by Sally Field

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Turtles All the Way Down by John Greene

The Year of Living Danishly:Uncovering the Secrests of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This new song by Jason Mraz says it all:

What are you relying on for fun, sustenance, and comfort these days?

PS – don’t forget, there’s a virtual writing session tonight and you still have time to sign up.

Day 44 – 52 Good Things

Still here. Still counting good things.

What’s good and beautiful in your life right now? What are you thankful for? My list continues here.

171. Sourdough cheese crackers

172. Clean sheets

173. Being vulnerable

174. Canned soup

175. Waiting for lilacs

176. Choosing how we want to “commute” to work

177. Orange nail polish

178. Hair ribbons

179. Plush carpet

180. Virtual Writing Workshops – there are still spots available for the Thursday evening session. Will I see you there?

What good and beautiful things are you seeing in your life these days? Please send them to me at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com

Bread of Life

“You and everyone else,” she said through her little square box framing her face on the Zoom call.

“It’s delicious. I have plenty of time to practice the craft.” I said to my friend from college through the computer connecting us.

On Sunday last, I spent an hour talking to six women who walked through college with me. We haven’t connected as a group in four years. A pandemic brought us together as schedules opened and boredom crept in. From screens on kitchen tables in Denver, in Brooklyn, and in Spokane, we spent an hour catching up during the oddest life pause we’ve experienced.

She was making fun of me and the seemingly thousands of others in quarantine who have discovered the joy of making homemade bread kitchens world wide.

Starting bread is simple. Flour, water, salt. Cover in dampness and let the air do its magic.

Mix.

Let it breathe.

Add heat and watch it crisp and bubble and morph into sustenance.

Three weeks ago, I was given a jar of white goo from a friend who had kept her starter alive for decades. The building block has grown and multiplied over the years and by miracles of community and connection, parts of the original landed on my doorstep in small glass mason jar.

In my dark kitchen on an unremarkable week night, I pressed connect to launch another video call. My mom walked me through the steps to make a scraggily dough. I called again after the overnight rise for guidance on amounts of flour, moisture, and time required to make something edible.

I’ve followed the steps on my own four times now. Bread is in the oven as I type.

IMG_20200323_094944

This week, a friend received another jar of the same white goo from the same legendary start. On another unremarkable week night, she called me via video chat to walk through the same steps my mom taught me just days prior.

The dough, and the love, are multiplying.

My friend sent pictures of her process. My incorrect direction to add extra flour caused her mason jar to overflow. Excess bubbled over and marking her counters with sticky residue.

In my small community, we’ve been texting recipes and getting on video calls and cheering from our kitchens far away.

This bread is connecting people.


Last night, Jesus ate the Last Supper of bread and wine.

Flour. Salt. Water. Grapes.

Simple ingredients connecting us through history.

They tell me Jesus is the Bread of Life.

While I slept and my dough rose, Jesus knew what was coming. Prophecies of betrayal and sacrifice and death led us here to Good Friday. Things we fear and want to avoid came to fruition.

From my home, I’ll sit down and watch a church service online. Maybe dim the lights to get the theatrical effect mega-churches seem to have mastered so well over the years.

“It is finished,” he’ll scream this afternoon and I’ll break my bread in remembrance of Him. I’ll sip my wine and feel the tannins gloss my throat as I swallow down the pain.

We must wait three days until everything changes.

Things feel finished. I feel sad and broken and scared for the ones I love. I know this is going to take more than three days to resolve.

And yet, what is finished in death rises on Sunday.  Even in quarantine.

I can’t help but thinking there’s something to this powerful resurgence of sourdough.

Dough rises. It’s connecting us.

This mix of simple things give rise to something powerful. New life with a crusty chew.

Beautiful things.

 

Day 21 – 52 Good Things

The list continues. As do the days. I probably won’t be posting every day, but here’s what I’m adding to the list from this weekend.

118. This guy’s parody videos

119. More sourdough

120. Naps in the afternoon

121. Virtual book club

122. Samsonthedood on Instagram (submitted by Katie B)

123. Homemade palms for Palm Sunday and children parading in kitchens

124. This hilarious coronavirus-themed parody of “One day more” from Les Misérables from a family in the U.K. watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/625160175/videos/10163265168130176/

125. How to sew a face mask: https://www.nytimes.com/article/how-to-make-face-mask-coronavirus.html

126. New Yorkers applaud health care workers and first responders from home https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Qi9IcpHBO/

(124-126 submitted by Suzanne M)

127. Manuals for old sewing machines on YouTube

128. Chocolate chips

129. Homemade stain glass windows made of paint and tape

Send your list of good things in your world right now to me when you can. 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com

 

Day 8 – 52 Good Things

How did today go for you?

I spent the morning swirling as we received more news of postponed jobs.

In a meeting, my coworker posed the question, “How are you getting wound up in negative possibilities?”

Gulp.

I am so. darn. good. at. that.

At the start of the year, I challenged myself to use my imagination for more positive things. I didn’t know of the coming epidemic and I forgot about my resolution as I swam in the dark sea of what ifs.

So, after deep breaths and mental silence, I’m at it again. Focusing and remembering on the good things that make us laugh and bring us sustenance. Trying to imagine big, beautiful possibilities.

This practice can change minute by minute.

50. This t-shirt on Amazon had me laughing out loud

51. I made sourdough bread from salt and flour and water and it’s beautiful and that’s enough.

IMG_20200323_094944

May we remember to go back to the basics.

As a reminder, send me a note with the good in your world at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com or a DM on Instagram. Keep em’ comin.

Day 7 – 52 Good Things

How did today go for you?

I had a small panic in my gut when deciding if we should venture out to Home Depot for a project. Both me and my husband froze. We know we aren’t hiding from zombies and we want to be wise. I texted a friend and wonderfully, they had what we needed. We traded cookies for paint rollers, got to send elbow bumps their way, and spent some time in the front yard after dropping goodies off on porches and waving see ya’ soon.

They keep saying the worst is yet to come and I hate to dwell on that thought.

Maybe it’s true. I’m hoping people are staying inside, loving their people, and using FaceTime or What’sApp (free on all phones) to stay connected. As we head into week two, know I’m thinking of the magnitude of all of this and the beautiful moments we can still find and create.

Like (40) bubbles in Sourdough starters and (41) live cooking classes via FaceTime with my mom.

Here are a few more good things. I can’t wait to see what good you’ve got happening in your homes, on your screens, and in your connections. Even STILL.

As a reminder, send me a note with the good in your world at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com or a DM on Instagram. Keep em’ comin.


42) Watching a church service online while texting a friend watching the same service.

43) People maintaining social distancing- and not complaining about it.

44) Prayer chains

45) Recommendation from a friend to listen to music by Sherri Youngward. (check her out on Spotify or her website. You’ll be glad you did.)

(42 – 45) submitted by Suzanne M.

46) Baking bread from scratch

47) Planning the garden and starting seeds

48) Playing with the dog in the yard

49) Testing new recipes (with adjustments for the ingredients you’re missing 😆)

* 45-49 submitted by Tegan P.

Who will round out our first list of 52 Good Things?