Hello to all my new readers!  I’m seeing hits from India and Australia.  Welcome to my small and bread-filled world.  This week has been especially busy.  Last night I got on the phone with a friend, hooked on my Bluetooth, and managed to make three types of bread before hanging up.  The tricky part was baking them all at different temperatures while each one was on its second proof and practically screaming at me to get it in the oven.  I’m plate-spinning with no training.  All turned out fine and were delivered to the client today.  My wife came home at almost ten and found me sitting at the kitchen table, glassy-eyed and finally eating my dinner.  But it was a good tired.  The stresses of mental and diplomatic gymnastics at work are literally kneaded away on the floury cutting board.  Making bread is good for the soul, and if you make with love, as I learned from Top Chef’s Carla Hall, your food will taste better.  So I try to make a little love into every bread.  And sometimes a dash of cursing as I make a mistake or burn my hand.

On Friday I have an important day in my bread-ucation.  (Okay, I’ve been waiting to say that word, just as I waited through four years of college so I could have someone wish me Congrad-uations.  Nobody did.)  Anyway, I’ll have to report over the weekend on this top-secret development.  I can say that I’ll be trying to bake the best bread of my life on Thursday night.

As I spend more time in the kitchen, I am thankful for two things:  counter space and Crocs.  My Croc slippers have let me stay on my feet for hours on end, shuttling between the bread board, oven, and sink.  I may have to get one of those gel pads for the sink area.  Anything to make dishwashing easier.  Like, say, a robot nanny?  Does iRobot make a Dishba?

This morning was another crying checkmate with Baby Harbat.  These are notable only because they are so rare.  We’re incredibly lucky with how happy and good-spirited our daughter is. But today, everything caused tears.  Giving bread.  Taking away bread.  Getting dressed.  NOT getting dressed.  Usually she just likes hugs and will be out of her funk by the time she gets to school.  And she talks so much now, I imagine she gets frustrated that we can’t understand her.  It’s like having a foreign exchange student in the house.  She babbles away with lots of emphasis and inflection, but we can only understand a word here or there, the rest of the time look at each other with raised eyebrows. 

“You want cup?  Car?  Is there a bird outside?  You want to get up?  Up!  That’s it!” 

Of course when she becomes a teen she will once again become unintelligible.  Except for the door-slamming “I hate you!” part.  That will come through perfectly clear, zero distortion.

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