Thursday, November 28, 2013

All you Knead is Love

Nigella Lawson seduced my husband.  He used to come home from work exhausted and unwind with a glass of wine and a simple supper when suddenly the raven-haired temptress appeared on telly offering food porn.  Next thing was he'd race back from work, plonk his meal on a tray and dash to slobber over her the food she cooked.

I'd never seen him show much interest in food.  Years of boarding school had taught him to eat what he could when he could but all of a sudden here he was looking at food from a totally different embonpoint of view.

To be honest, I am deeply grateful to her.  Her enticing and croquetish (see what I did there!) ways inspired him to take over the kitchen.  He now does so much cooking that my son-in-law recently asked my daughter if I ever did any (I soon put him straight with my slow roasted shoulder of lamb followed by a pistachio and blood-orange honeycake).

Even my reign as Queen of Curries is over as I've had to concede that my husband's Rick Stein Goan Fish Curry is simply the best curry ever.

And now things have taken yet another turn, one which I'm afraid will prove to be my complete undoing.

He took himself off to the River Cottage for a Baking Course and is now no longer in love with Nigella, oh no, now it's his 'mother' - a funny little bowl of flour and water that magically morphs into his starter culture for bread.  He feeds her and fusses over her to make sure she's happy.  If she's a little bitter then she gets some extra tlc but once she's sweet then it's 'action stations'.  Suddenly the flour is flying, the oven is warming and bowls of dough start rising like balloons around the kitchen.

He has now become a baker and it has changed our lives!  Gorgeous, chewy batches of sour dough bread are starting to populate the kitchen and I have taken to consuming big slices lathered with salty butter and homemade jam.

OMG????  I've spent years eating consciously, avoiding gluten and having an alkaline diet.  Its like I'm addict, all my years of good eating thrown away by one loaf.  I seem to be totally disinterested in vegetables and brown rice now and only want the high that chewy, springy. freshly made sourdough bread and butter can deliver.  I try to convince myself that my enthusiasm is part of helping him develop his craft, but the truth is 'skinny' does not feel as good as his amazing sour dough bread tastes.  I've even taken up running again to help counter the calorie consumption!

But more important than the possible increase in my waistline is my total and utter delight that he has found his passion.  I have never seen him so fired up before and it is wonderful - his happiness makes me happy!  If he is not feeding his 'mother' culture or preparing the dough, he's working out his timings or reading baking books like an eager student.  He has big dreams for bread and we are all waiting with open mouths!

It is really important to do something you love, something that makes your heart sing, something that gives you a reason to spring out of bed.  Doing something YOU love connects you back to your own creativity and allows you to express yourself in your own unique way.  Giving yourself permission to do things that feel true for you is like letting your 'inner child' out to play; you begin to grow in confidence as you learn new skills and suddenly joy, enthusiasm and love begin to flow again.  This is an irresistible quality in us all and something that can inspire others to go out and play too.

What would make your heart sing?

If you'd like to find out, come to our Christmas Presence workshops this December.

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