If at First You Don’t Succeed…

I first learned to bake bread from scratch when I was probably in junior high or high school.  My great aunt always made beautiful cloverleaf dinner rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and I remember her carefully showing me how to do it too.  Eventually, years later, I inherited the job of making the rolls each holiday.  And somehow that morphed into adding Christmas morning cinnamon rolls to the job.  It was always fun, never hard, and it always came together well.  I didn’t have any tricks or tips, I just followed the recipe and it always worked.  Maybe sometimes they were a bit dry or chewy but back then I did not have discerning tastes and my family always raved about them.  I’m just thankful for the successes early on, because they gave me a foundation for the future.


Because sometimes, you know, things just don’t work out too well.

Yesterday is a good example.  I have been baking all our family’s bread now for about 6 years.  There have been rare problems but overall I meet with great success each time.  Except for yesterday.  Things started out great.  I had planned ahead so well that I was able to soak the flour for nearly 12 hours before mixing up the dough (soaking the flour enhances the digestibility of the grain).  When the dough rose the first time it was just gorgeous.  Perfection.  I shaped it into 5 beautiful loaves and set those out to rise.  But I got busy and the yeast was really fresh and they rose a little faster than I expected.  So when I went to check them, they had risen so high they had stuck together.  Carefully I pulled them apart and the dough didn’t fall so I thought I had escaped bread tragedy yet again and very carefully put the loaves in the oven.  Whew!


About 5 minutes later I began to smell toast.  Why was I smelling toast?  I should be smelling baking bread….Toast?!  Ack!  I quickly but carefully opened the oven just a crack and smoke billowed out.  The loaves looked fine – what was causing the smoke?  Then I saw it – a pile of dough lying on the bottom of the oven.  Gradually scanning upward I realized that the loaf way in back had risen so high that the top of it had literally slid right off onto the oven floor.  And portions of another loaf were beginning to drip down.  And all of the loaves that had risen so high and light now had a serious case of dunlop disease.


Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way you intended.


Sometimes, when you expect perfection, you get topless bread instead…

…or Dunlop Diseased bread…


So what does this have to do with healthy eating?  Well, a lot.  Healthy eating is hard.  Cooking everything yourself is hard.  The things you work really hard on aren’t always going to work out.  People are not going to understand or appreciate what you are doing, and they are going to refuse to eat what you cook.  Seeking out and obtaining nutritious food is hard.  It is overwhelming, it takes time, it takes energy, it takes thought and planning.


You’re going to want to give up, throw in the towel, and go to McDonalds.


Don’t do that.


Walk away for a minute, take a deep breath, and take another look.  I recently heard someone say that things worth doing rarely work out the first or even second time.  That’s often how you know it’s worth doing. 


Sometimes, things look like they aren’t working out when really they’re working out very well.

It’s all in how you look at it.


I know some of you out there have a lot of obstacles in front of you.  Is it money?  Health?  Time?  Unsupportive family?  Complaining children?  Critical, skeptical husbands?  Lack of resources?  Lack of skill?  Lack of confidence?  Don’t let it get you down.  You can do it!   

Grain Girl sez, "Keep on Grindin’!"

Eating real food is really worth it.


5 thoughts on “If at First You Don’t Succeed…

  1. <<You’re going to want to give up, throw in the towel, and go to McDonalds.>>

    Wow, are speaking to me? Because you really seem know me!! LOL Having several of the "obstacles" you mentioned I'm really trying not to let them get me down. 🙂 Thank you so much for the vote of confidence and reminding me why I'm going through all this!! 🙂

  2. LOL! I am not brave enough to post my goofs, but I can sure identify with having them now and then! Well, maybe, if I am honest, if I actually did post them, we might be here a long w h i l e!!! LOL, long as it tastes good, then whoo hoo, anyway, right?
    But, you are so right when you say to face those things which drag us down. Because when we do, and give it to God, somehow, He always brings us through, stronger and more capable to work it through the next time!
    Blessings and thanks for this post…I needed it today!

  3. Good to know things like this happen in other people's kitchens, too!!! I am pleasantly surprised when my cooking or baking goes well – so thank you for the encouragement. Your college roommate Amy M and I had lunch last week and talked about you. Your lifestyle is inspiring!


  4. I too have been making the family bread and have tried several versions of soaking flour first.

    Could you share your recipe?



  5. Thanks for this! I've had some less-than-stellar experiences in the kitchen lately, and yesterday did give up and get dinner from Sonic. *gasp*
    I needed to this encouragement today!

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