At Obecní dům for a classical concert with a few of my colleagues from school.
My Dad has a saying. Actually, he has a lot of sayings but this one has always stuck with me.
“People are like moose in the forest,” he told me one night while he was cooking mushrooms. “They may be big and have antlers; they may be stamping the ground and huffing with steam coming out of their noses. But it’s just because they’re scared. People are always more scared of you than you are of them.”
How often do we have to be told ‘there’s no place like home’ before we believe that it’s true? And once we leave the welcome mat on our front doorstep for good, looking for our own windows to hang curtains in, what do we really lose?
Most of my friends left home for college at about eighteen. They didn’t only move out from under the roof they grew up under, but away from the churches and communities they grew up with. Transplanted into entirely new surroundings, they start over, making new friends and entering the next exciting stage in life.
I never left for college – I got my A.A. from a school ten minutes away from my house, so I stayed home after graduating high school. When I finally “got out on my own” – and believe me, I was aching to spread my wings a little – I was surprised to find the things I missed most from home weren’t my friends or my siblings or Little Caesar’s five dollar pizzas. I missed my parents, the women from my Bible Study, and the families in my church who provided me so much encouragement as I struggled to make this mission trip to Prague a reality. I yearned for the continual springs of wisdom and encouragement I was blessed with in San Diego. (Jerry and Marilyn have been incredible in this area and I go to them almost as much as I would go to my own parents – though I think they appreciate that I don’t flop into their room at 11pm and say things like, “I just can’t handle this anymore!” …Mom and Dad, you two deserve sainthood).
What I’ve also discovered is that there are people who will help shepherd, comfort …and feed you wherever you end up! So about once a month, I visit one such family who’ve been good enough to open their arms and their fridge.
I spend an absurd amount of time looking at recipe blogs. I’m not sure if it’s because it makes me feel vicariously like a perfect little homemaker or because reading the voices of no-nonsense women working in the kitchen feels a lot like getting a huge hug from an ‘Aunt Jemima’ figure. The soul needs what it needs.
Anyway, because my cooking skills are nuclear (we’re talking Three Mile Island), and because I recently just spent a week on a single baking project, I decided to do a recipe blog parody.
Enjoy, my friends. Let your heart drink it up.
Last week a woman at school gave me a jar of dough in a plastic baggy with a recipe attached. After awkwardly transporting the jar home in my purse (if I had a dime for every time I got on a bus with something completely random in my bag…), I read the brief message on the recipe. This bread takes a week to make and must be given to a friend who has not made the bread before. Already, it feels like a cult initiation, but I never say ‘no’ to baking.
Monday: 250 g of sugar – do not mix
I was so excited about getting the dough I nearly forgot the first step Monday night. Do not forget the first step. The dough in the jar is only a starter and the yeast needs to start eating the sugar right away!
In case you’re wondering what the grams to cups conversion is, I have no idea. In fact, I faked it for the whole week and the bread turned out just fine. I like to think of measurements more as guidelines.