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.