As we approach the spring equinox I begin to get anxious over all the great things soon to come. Gardening, summer bike rides, beer outside in the sun while I play guitar on my porch, watching my grains grow and seeing my daughter become extra dirty trying to help Dad plant in the garden and 'make the yard look nice'.
This year will be particularly exciting for numerous reasons, one of which is the Red Fife grains growing on our property and the potential to once again make a loaf for the community with grains strictly grown, harvested and milled within the city of Tecumseh.
Of course, having my daughter now running around like the wild-child she is will be something not entirely unlike excitement, either.
I take my baking very seriously. I am pretty sure I haven't gone a day in over ten years now where my hands weren't touching bread, pastries or something along those lines. Heck, I had to take my starter on my last vacation with us -just so I could bake on my supposed time-off.
So you can see above, those were beautiful heads of heritage Rye that I had grown about two years ago on my property and had taken on the experience of baking bread from start to finish in its fullest. I needed this project!
Tilling the soil, dowsing the seeds, tending the crops, harvesting the sheafs, painstakingly threshing the berries in a bag while cursing a lot, to finally milling the said berries and turning them into loaves for one day of baking at our current store-front about two years ago.
I never felt more in-tuned to my craft then when those loaves came out of the oven. To think, I had seen through the life of that loaf, from start to finish. There were no commodity sacks of flour involved, just these hands and a few other simple tools of the trade.
The simplicity of the craft with the chance each day to refine yesterdays work has always drawn me closely to this passion of mine.
It was baking in its true, unrefined form. And I laughed when I thought about the true cost of those loaves and all the work that went into them. The $5 I charged? I think they really cost around $13-$15. But it wasn't about that. Not at all.
It was to do what we love doing. Ali and I set out to bake for the community, to nourish, to fulfill a spot in town that wasn't filled and to test ourselves each day to the pursuit of the perfect loaf, and the relentless passion to the craft.
Yesterday, I wandered around my little wheat field with my daughter and thought about the beautiful opportunity we have presented before us once again. If the weather permits, if the deer don't munch too much, and if the cards align, we could potentially be making the purest Tecumseh loaves again for the fine folks we bake for each day. My daughter seemed lack-luster. She's just in it for the chewy crust, I won't lie.
Now how about that? A loaf of bread can inspire as much as it can fill ones stomach. My anxiety aside, I think there's a lot ahead of us, and I am certainly glad you are here with us for it all. Whether a new location being constructed, a fun loaf to experiment with, or trying to be a Father, Husband, Baker, Farmer, Miller, Accoutant, Food Blogger(?), I am thankful for you.