While I do enjoy figuring out how my great grandma got by without plastic, there are moments, fleeting but real, where I stop and marvel at where I’ve found myself.
The truth is, this is my second go at learning these lost kitchen arts. Long ago, before I succumbed to the mainstream, I was a righteous country girl. I made my share of bread, and had chickens. I learned to can “open-kettle” style (which, if that sounds quaint, is the kind of preserving that causes botulism), and wildcrafted herbs up and down the Rio Grande. My greatest ambition in life was to, well, do what I’m doing now – be a mama who writes occasional poems and whips out two loaves of fresh bread while singing “The Bramble and the Rose.”
Between those tender years and now, I did a little exploring, a little branching out. I’ve never stopped wildcrafting, and making simple medicines, but I also became a registered nurse, and worked long shifts at the local hospital. I kept writing poems, but also studied deconstruction and semiotics. I became hooked on Trader Joe’s. And now here I am, making tortillas, singing nursery rhymes, and nursing my two year old all day long.
Sometimes the strangeness of it all strikes me. And I stop and marvel for a moment.
I try to honor all my teachers, all my passions, every road I’ve gone down, even the ones I’ve backtracked from. And then returned to, when the time was right. Who knew becoming a domestic feminist diva bad ass bread baker could be so empowering? And so baffling?
Where’s all this going? Just here. Where I am is where I am. And the bread tastes better than ever.