Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No more excuses...

It's Tuesday afternoon, the baby is taking a much needed nap and the rain is falling, thunder is rumbling in the air... thunderstorms are magic for me.  They are therapeutic and calming, not to mention beautiful.  I'm drinking a coffee topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg and listening to music from Putumayo, "Music from the Coffee Lands."  The way I see it, if I love coffee so much, their music can only be equally enchanting and thus, I will enjoy my perfect afternoon, letting it be the soundtrack.  So far, I'm taken with this album and I foresee many more lovely mornings, afternoons, and evenings enjoyed to it's beautiful songs.  I also think that this music might be another reason why coffee is so amazing, do you think they sing to the coffee beans, chanting, "grow, grow, and be delicious?"  I believe it is possible.

Oh, and I'm making bagels, yes, bagels, from scratch.  It's a long story.

The story...

I am half way into the process of The Artist's Way and I have delighted with the changes and discoveries that have resulted in the journey of the creative, in living life more fully, in connecting my faith with my creativity... it's been remarkable.  I'd recommend it to anyone, even if you don't consider yourself creative or an artist, it will help focus on what matters and discard the frivolous and meaninglessness.

I have been aware for sometime that my town lacks any great bakeries, cafes, and coffee shops (all these things I feel are really necessary for a great town and places that inspire me.  It's obvious that I belong in Europe, where I have seen this great appreciation and art of fine baking and cafes...  and so I dream of the day, when it's my turn to peruse the shops and delight in their goods.  

Yesterday, I hit a breaking point.  I was in desperate need of an adventure and I, once again, became frustrated that when I googled, "bakeries," the first three were Walmart.  I immediately resolved that I would bake breads, why couldn't I?  I am a decent cook/baker and I welcome a challenge in my life.  Plus, I  must try new things and in the process, I could fail miserably, or succeed.   

Yesterday, I saw a friend of mine posted a picture of her first homemade bagels with the caption, "Homemade bagels, my first installment of make something that scares me."   This friend, posted a list of the items she was going to attempt and I was inspired to think of all the things that I lacked the courage to make.

So, today, I searched the cupboards and realized I did have ingredients to make these bagels and I did.  They were surprisingly easy, too easy... and right now they are baking away in the oven. The kitchen smells delicious.

Here is my list:
1. Croissants

2. Donuts, especially my favorites- the ones with chocolate icing and custard inside.

3. Egg rolls

4. Coconut Shrimp

5. Hush puppies

6. Crab cakes (I've made them once, but I want to master them.)

7. Homemade pasta (Tried this once and miserably failed.)

8. Danishes

9. Pound Cake

10. Coffee Cake

11. Watermelon Sorbet

12. Homemade Ice Cream

13. Fried Chicken (I know, I've never made it)

14. Creme Brulee

15. A Souffle

16. Applesauce

17. A turkey (Like the one on Thanksgiving)

18. Sweet & Sour Pork (Like the one my mom made)

19. Couq au vin

20. Roasted duck

21. Jams

22. Homemade Pickles

23. French Onion Soup

24. Lemon Poppy seed Muffins

There are many adventures to be had in my life, but right now, this is one (or many) that I can take and isn't that the point, of being adventurous wherever you may be?

What are the things that you say, "I want to do more of this?"  or "I want to try that."
In truth many times, I think we are stopping ourselves, granted I can't spend months traveling the world, right now, but I could make new dishes from the places I desire to visit, or brush up on my French, for when I do finally get to go, or listen to more world music, read more books, and write more thank you notes....

It's your turn... think about it, it might change your life...

Pictures and opinions on the bagels to follow.


  1. I just adore a thunderstorm with tea instead of coffee though. As for your new creative endeavor, well, simply it's just inspiring. I love the idea of baking although I am quite horrible. I may join you though and try something new in the kitchen even if it does worry me a bit. Thank you for helping get out of the book and into action.

  2. Hehe... I just wrote down a recipe for bagels and am on my way to the supermarket. I'm so impressed that you had yeast AND bread flour in your home already. :)

    Thanks for my fun afternoon project!


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