Tag Archives: Bread


My poems seem like a recipe
for whole grain bread.
The water and oil,
though critical,
don’t mingle – dissimilar things
have no bound surfaces- but you add salt and sugar anyway-
Having faith in the mix.
Pouring in flour and seeds
can appear chaotic, yet it is
purposeful to the blend. Some flour
is white and smooth,
some of it is wheat and coarse
– textured-
with grittiness of flax seeds,
and oats, and rye.
A small divot in the pile
is home to bread yeast, a catalyst, an ache,
that fuels the rising dough over time.

If using a machine, then you’re done.

The poem can bake and rise, and still be tasty –
but it misses an opportunity.

A need.

Something you add.

Handle the dough
Folding the blend
Feeling the texture
between your fingers.
Press into the bowl
massage and cajole-
form and remake
this merger, new
with each tumble
and clutch.

This wielding power comes from you
to make the poem combined and mingled
and mean something that will not dwindle
with time.

And the bread will be just fine.

Trying to jump back in the saddle of writing again. I’m not so sure that this is best, final version of this. I enjoy breadmaking for the robustness of the bread and the physical handling that makes it such an individual creation, much like poetry.

After reading the completed poem, I like the additional symbolism that this offers as well.

Adventures in Productivity

Early Sunday morning, I awoke with the idea that I wanted to make a loaf of sourdough bread. I received a breadmaker from my son as a Christmas gift. I have enjoyed making bread “the old fashioned way” for many years, and entertained the idea of a breadmaker because, well, I like bread, and sometimes there is not enough time to mix ingredients, let it rise, divide the dough, let it rise again, and cook it. I will do it that way for holiday bread, but it is time consuming.

Scrounging around the kitchen at 7 AM, I realized that I did not have enough all-purpose flour to complete the recipe. What I did have was whole wheat flour. I have never heard of whole wheat sourdough bread…so I went to my computer to google search.

My internet connect was dead.

We have a funky wireless connection at our house. It drops out my wife’s laptop most of the time, but rarely does my computer lose the signal. I rebooted the modem…nothing. I rebooted my computer….still nothing.

The definition of insanity is, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I rebooted everything again…just in case. No luck.

Then I took an ethernet cable and hooked my computer directly to the modem…good,

then to my wireless router…bad.

tangled wires

I am fortunate to have purchased a spare router^, so I powered everything down, replaced the router, plugged everything in, powered it up and …..BAM….

working internet.


A little searching for bread recipes and I found the following:

A hearty whole wheat yeast bread with the tangy flavor of sourdough. This recipe was written for use with bread machines.

Sourdough Whole Wheat BreadFor 1 1/2 Pound Loaf:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sourdough starter (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I loaded the ingredients in the breadmaker, plugged it in and pressed start.

Three and a half hours later, we enjoyed a warm loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread with lunch. It did not have an extra heel, but we were joyful nonetheless.


Why does this matter?

I have been reading Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. It is one of the five or six books (paper and electronic) that I have cracked open at the moment^^. He discusses the coral reef as a model for technology development – filling the needs required by those in the environment so they don’t have to reinvent something from scratch to fill their need.

Adaptation to the situation via the adjacent possible.

To make a loaf a bread required not only the ingredients (whether I could use whole wheat flour or not), the knowledge of how to mix them and cook the loaf, the technology of a bread machine, how to troubleshoot an internet connection, performing a search of information out in cyberspace…you see where this is going right?

Steven Johnson’s point is that we don’t have to know how all of these things work, but simply how to use them. That opens up the adjacent possible…If I use it there, maybe I can use it here.

That is how new ideas are born.

Trying the bread with a little margarine and apple butter is my next big idea.


^We purchased a certain provider’s bundled internet and phone package a few years ago, only to find out recently, when our phone connection went out, they no longer support the equipment…so we have to do that on our own. I found what we needed and we purchased a few of them.

^^Yes, I can’t seem to finish a book without starting another. I won’t apologize for that any longer.

What to do when there are three heels in your loaf of bread

Count your blessings for the extra slice,
         dance the jig
and share your newfound gains.

Go feed the ducks in the pond down the street
make a doubledecker grilled cheese sandwich
         for you and your beloved to eat.

Take a moment
and contemplate the loss
of the other loaf,
and sweeten its memory
         butter and sugar
         a jelly roll up
         impromptu french toast
         pan-pan deaux
and cheers for using this lost bread,
         now found, by you.

Toast it for croutons
         on your next chef’s salad.

Tear and grind it up,
seasoned with salt and rosemary
and spread over chicken
         or pork loin for oven bake.

Savor the moment and
this bookend bounty
that allows you to go just beyond
         the edge of shadows.