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Soto Zen service and sitting, very informal, 7:15 pm PST most Sundays through Thursdays, available on Zoom.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Simple things

Risa is a bit aimless of late, as three dear people are crossing into the edge of Shadow.

To distract herself, she's baking daily on top of the woodstove. This turns out to be surprisingly easy.

She grinds whatever takes her fancy in the Corona mill -- today it was barley, oats, quinoa, and a few dried favas -- and throws in some water, honey, yeast, salt, and whole wheat flour, shapes a lump, and drops it into an oiled glass bowl.

The bowl just fits inside her Dutch oven, which is not a real Dutch oven as the lid does not have that lip for coals that a proper camp or hearth oven should have. But it's fine for the woodstove top. A few steel washers dropped into the oven seem to help prevent burning the loaf -- tiny trivets.

After four or five hours, the loaf has both risen and baked while the house is being gently bathed in the same heat. She takes the lid off the oven, lifts out the bowl with a pair of potholders, drops one potholder on the table, tips the loaf out, upside down, onto the other potholder.

She has hot fresh medieval bread with a bit of local butter. Watches the juncos and tanagers peck at seed on the windowsill. Simple things.


  1. Anonymous11:59 AM

    I am sorry for your losses.

  2. Oh, they've not happened. I'm simply shaken by immanence.

  3. Mmm, I'll bet the house smells lovely while your daily loaf is baking. It is sad to see loved ones facing their final days (weeks? months?) but with that knowledge comes the opportunity to right past wrongs, seek and give forgiveness, ask the last few questions that need answers, and say the fare thee wells.

    My sibling is still struggling with the sudden unexpected loss of my nephew, I think, in part, due to not being able to do any of those things. Embrace them while you still can!


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