Monday, December 22, 2014

Freshly Baked Bread


Yesterday, I made bread. White bread, to be precise.  I even followed the recipe, almost precisely, which is pretty good for me. I forgot to add the salt, but that's okay. We already finished one loaf.

I thought about putting up the Christmas tree yesterday morning, but chose to bake bread and make carrot and leek soup for lunch instead. I had a yen for freshly baked white bread for the past two days.  And, since I wasn't going to find what I wanted in the local grocery stores or bakeries, I might as well knead one to fulfill my need. Yuk, yuk.

I don't make bread much anymore. Not that I was ever a bread baker. I just like pounding the dough. Okay, the kneading. Knead, knead. Pound. Pound, Knead. 

Easy pounding. Not like the first time I made bread many decades ago. Imagine me, a 20-year-old college girl living in a second-floor apartment in San Francisco's Richmond district. It's late in the evening. Because I'm either stressed or bored, or both, with my studies, I am making bread on the flimsy kitchen counter.  Knead, knead, Pow! Pound. Pound. Pow! Pound Pound. Knead, pound, knead. My roommates say, "Gee, Sue take it easy."

Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat.  There is an angry rap at our front door. It is our downstairs neighbor. He is not very happy with the loud, continuous thuds keeping him awake. Poor guy.

I learned my lesson: Pound bread dough quietly and kindly.

By the way, the Christmas tree just might go up today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rusted Running Feet


Plod, plod, plod. I jogged nonstop all the way around the block. Nearly one-quarter of a mile that first day. Yes, it was tough. On my lungs. On my knees. On my whole body.

Lumber, lumber, lumber.
The second day, I jogged, gasping, but nonstop, for half a mile.

When I got home, I told the Husband that my jogging went from  plod, plod, plod to lumber, lumber lumber.

The Husband asked, "How is plodding different from lumbering?"

The sound is different. It is.

Pad, pad, pad. My gait sounded like Molly the Cat's when she scoots across the kitchen floor in search of something mischievous to do. I went three-quarters of a mile that third day. I remembered to breath in through my nose and not my mouth. I tried not to think of the twinge in my right knee.

The fourth morning, I laid in bed thinking which route around the neighborhood would make one mile. And I thought about whether I ought to run at all. Maybe I ought to pay attention to the twinge that was now twanging in my right knee. It might go away after I stretched and rumbled along the street a bit. Or, it might tear.

I got out of bed and did my stretching exercises.  Afterwards, I decided for once in my life to pay attention to my body.

That was last week.

"Walking is just as good," the Husband said yesterday as we walked back from the bicycle shop where Tilda-Hilda was getting an extra-duty tire tube installed. "It's better for your knees."

"I know. I just miss the feeling of running."

It's been nearly 30 years since I ran -- excuse me, jogged -- on a regular basis. That was when I lived in San Francisco and ran every other day in Golden Gate Park. I liked going pad, pad, pad down the dirt paths, imagining that I was a village messenger bringing important news to the other villages. And, I liked participating in the fun races for the tee shirts. Actually the idea of doing a local 5K run in January got me motivated to see if I could actually do the motions of running again. Now I know.