Thursday, February 21, 2013

"The Call of Wild Yeast; A Story In Bread Portraits"

I have never been more in love in my entire life.

Last year when I started culinary school, I didn't really know what I was doing it for, just that I had to do it. There wasn't really a clear objective in my mind when I signed up to go, just a very strong feeling pulling me in that direction. Call it silly and superstitious if you want, but sometimes you just have to do what feels right to you.The problem with going off of a feeling though, is that for a while I just felt like I was bumping around, going through the motions sort of waiting around for that next feeling that would point out what the hell I was supposed to do next. All year long I waited and waited, I went to all my classes, kept my grades up and felt pretty much like a fraud. Whenever classmates would ask me what my plans were after school I wouldn't have an answer.

This semester I started my first baking class, it's a required class and was a royal pain to get into. I had to rearrange my work schedule to be able to get up at 7am and drive across town to go and I still have to work all night long just a few hours after class is over. Despite all of that, I have never been happier than when I am in this class.

I feel absolute bliss every moment of the five hour class period; the science, the history, the smells, (even washing the dishes!)... I love it all. It helps of course that the Chef in charge of our class ( despite the hour) speaks passionately and knowledgeably about chemical composition, wild yeasts, and her own personal world travels in such a way as to make note taking unnecessary. 
When I'm not in class I spent nearly every moment thinking and planning and dreaming about recipes and flavors and alternative flours. Every week we're given homework to practice what we made in class and bring in a sample, and every week I go home and make six or seven batches. I have five different butter slicked notebooks (in the kitchen, the bedroom, next to my purse...) filled with scribbles of dreamed up skeleton recipes. Index cards, junk mail envelopes, and old receipts with gluten free flour combination ideas and ratios scrawled over the backs. I even take my expensive camera with me to class! I've never felt so frustrated and exhilarated and utterly consumed by a thing in all my life. 
That feeling I was waiting for, this is it.

I don't know exactly what I'm going to do after this semester is over, or where I'm going to go but I've got the pulling feeling again. 
You must, you must be a baker.

Stay tuned.


  1. I so love reading this. I have felt all along that it would be baking for you. (I have no idea why -- but I did think that). Love it when you have that 'knowing' -- makes all the difference.


  2. You should absolutley be a baker, you would rock it!
    Im a baker, but my back did not tolerate the hours and that kind of work, but i have alot of joy at home, making all kinds of bread, cupcakes and so on.

    Buy the way, did you get my letter? (just wondering) have a great weekend!

    1. I just got your lovely letter last week! I'll be sending a reply out really soon :)

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