Ten To Do’s

It’s summer. I’m on a baking reprieve, since I’m traveling and in my brothers’ bread baking territory. My two older kids are spending a week working at the bakery here in LA, waking at 4am to wrap bread and clean mixers and mold sourdough. I stopped in for a visit today, and here’s a bit of what I saw ūüôā

250 pounds of sourdough on the rise

Dad, and my two growing teens, scaling the dough

A lot of dough on the rise

And flour everywhere...

I’m a tad bit jealous of their hours breathing in that yeasty air that I love… ¬†But I’ve been a bit unwell, and this time to relax and ponder the upcoming months, while they gain a bit of work experience, is needed and welcome.

As I reassess my days and think about new goals now that my health has recovered (yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I’ve made a list of those things in my life that I most cherish and that help me stay grounded and growing. Here are my top ten To Do’s:

Pray    Write    Walk    Family    Bake    Garden   Read   Clean   Knit    Entertain

Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to fit all of the above into one actual day–it seems a bit much, and most days I manage about four out of the ten. But why not try for the whole lot! I’ll be trying this summer, with prayer, writing, and family time as absolute essentials. I’ll be baking, too, and giving. The giving has proved especially important during this time when I’ve only wanted to sink into a stupor and moan about my misfortunes… Summer baking, with the warm weather urging the yeast into super speed, is going to be fun!

Anyway, enough about me…. What about you, what would make the top ten on your list? I’d love to know…

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Bakery Field Trip–The Real Deal

Brief baking hiatus

Too embarrassed to bake in my father’s house…

Our family is sneaking in a quick visit to wish our LA clan a merry Christmas. I haven’t baked in two days, and the only giving has been one of trying to keep our things from invading every corner of my parent’s clean home. I could never outgive my parents–nor would I ever try. They are the most generous people I’ve ever met…

But bread baking isn’t far from our minds. My brothers are just about to launch a new commercial baking enterprise, and yesterday we got to visit the construction site. There were dough mixers, conveyor belts just for baguettes, proofers, retarders, and a lot of talk about a certain dough cutter… There is an artisan oven being installed as we speak. It was a great field trip–so that’s what I’m bringing you today. A peek into Etxea Bakery; they will be testing bread in their new custom, Italian-made oven before the New Year arrives.

Dad and Chris, the contractor.

Such pretty new machinery

The intermediate proofer

Loves the machines!

Enormous proof box--got locked in one of these in St. Louis once. Almost ended up in the headlines...

Baguette conveyor belt

Bare bones of a rack oven--you insert a full rack on wheels into the oven for baking

Michel and his crew are installing the Italian-made, custom deck oven

My son with a very odd conversation piece from years past