During my recent forced sabbatical, I would often think to myself, ‘Hmm, that idea would be a nice blog post subject’ – and instead of jotting it down somewhere, I’d just file it away in the recesses of my brain, for later reference. Now, I’m trying to remember as many as I can, before they are completely gone … forever.
So, I think I’ll do the smart thing and just create a short list here (I know it’ll be short, since I can’t remember more than a few even now) – and then I’ll come back later and, one by one, I’ll flesh them out in a respectable way.
- I’ve discovered a perfectly legitimate and useful way to use up some (not all) of the ‘spent’ sourdough starter that we all experience when we don’t bake on a daily basis. That’s all I’m going to say right now, other than that the discovery was a surprising ‘enlightened’ moment for me!
- In the interest of making baking easier (you do want to make your baking easier, right?), I have begun using several – count ’em: several – ideas which have proven more effective and increased my consistency. (Damn, I hope I don’t forget ’em all by the time I post them.)
- And under the general heading of technique, I’ve got, again, several time saving processes that have not only made my baking sessions easier, but improved the overall quality of my finished products.
I’d make a wild guess and say that for most of us -maybe even all- only improve by fits and starts – By that, I mean that for every two steps forward, there follows one step back. My baking especially was like that – it got so that after awhile, I was afraid to give anything away, unless I could cut it in half first. Well, I think that the above ideas, all of which surfaced during my recent respite, have contributed mightily toward improving that. See, maybe vacations are necessary in order for us to do our best work.
There is another reason why I’m going this route – in the old days, I’d have just put together one painfully long post containing all of the above ideas – and then sat around all week wondering what my next post would be about. But I love the Mark Twain quote from one of his letters to a friend, where he said, ‘Please forgive the length of this letter; if I had had more time, it’d been much shorter.’ So, I’d like to take a lesson from Twain, and maybe even improve my writing too.
Next time we meet here again, I shall begin to reveal the secrets from my respite – if I don’t forget them in the meantime. And if you’re not a baker, well maybe those secrets will be powerful enough to tempt you into the club – there are worse things to do with your time, you know.