Monday, February 9, 2015

About love

Love is when an eight-year old French girl decides to make a Pithiviers (an almond cake) for her family. She has baked Pithiviers before and is confident it will come out well. So confident that she forgets to use flour. Butter goes in and ground almonds and sugar and who can remember what else but what comes out of the oven is a flat disk. At the end of dinner that night, the so-called Pithiviers is solemnly brought out and sliced. But the smell and taste are off-putting (mushroomy in fact, probably because of the baking powder) and nobody is actually able to eat more than one bite of his or her share except the little girl's dad who pronounces the sorry cake the best flourless Pithiviers he has ever had.
Love is when you bake a brioche for your Valentine and you make it a hundred percent whole wheat to compensate for all the butter you used that he shouldn't be eating and you bungle the shaping because really you never learned how to make a brioche à tête like the ones you see all over Paris and because of the poor shaping, it doesn't rise as well as it should but you bake it anyway and when you slice it open to reveal a somewhat under-baked center, your Valentine says there is nothing wrong with your brioche that a little browning in the toaster won't fix.
Love is a lot like gluten in bread dough: it binds us together, yet leaves enough breathing space around each of us that we can grow and change and still be part of a whole. In the face of the relentless waves of violence, ugliness, intolerance, and plain old stupidity that are threatening to sweep us under, the humble metaphor is reason enough to keep on baking.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
























8 comments:

  1. Good thought! Love is like gluten. Happy Valentines day MC!

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    1. I knew you would like the image, Teresa! ;)

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  2. With all that the world has shown your family, thank you for being kind enough to still encourage others to love.

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    1. I will never forget how much compassion and, yes, love, we have been shown, as a family, in the aftermath of Noah's cruel death. The worst and the best, inextricably intertwined. Thank you for your comforting words, Avis!

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  3. Yes, as Avis mentions, thank you so much to encourage us all to love, Love is the most important issue in the whole world!!, so I love every body who write in this fantastic blog!!! May our Lord bless you all and happy baking!!! May our Lord fill you up with His love on Valentine's day!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Anonymous! You are very kind...

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  4. MC
    My old heart is touched once again by your eloquent words and lovely story. Your words and photos always elevate me somehow and I so look forward to them. :*)
    I love the visual your words have conveyed. Now, when I knead my doughs, I imagine I will see the gluten developing in a new light thanks to you.
    Take Care,
    JanetH.

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  5. Hi Farine,

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Valentines Day, full of love and peace.

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