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Five or fourteen quotes about bread…

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So first a couple things. One is that I was likely prompted to post these quotes because (a) I love bread–eating it and making it–and (b) I just came across the photo below which was taken in ’08 or thereabouts. That was my first official cargo bike, when I graduated from carrying all sorts of things rather precariously on a “regular bike.” I still had a car at the time but didn’t use it very often and was testing the waters to see what it would be like to live without one (it’s great, by the way). And also, why this photo is relevant to this post, is that it was just a year or so prior that I started this blog. And in the early stages of my blogging I was uncertain as what to name it. One of the names in the ring at the time was “The Biking Baker,” because I baked a lot of bread and was gravitating towards going car-free. Ultimately I found the title too limiting, and later settled on the current name of Urban Simplicity. Because of a job change last year I don’t have the opportunity to bake bread as often as I once did or as often as I’d like. But as I sit here in a coffee shop typing these words on a beautiful spring morning there is a wonderful and fragrant loaf fermenting and rising on my kitchen counter. That’s likely the real reason I was prompted to post these quotes. With this said, if you’d like recipes for all sorts of bread (but mostly made with 100% whole wheat flour), click here. For more in the Five Quotes series, click here.

“No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of making your own bread.”

~MFK Fisher

“Bread is an object of unparalleled worship and decorum. It embodies the full cycle of life and seasons, from the death of the wheat kernel in the earth to the resurrection as a stalk, from its ordeal in the mill to its journey through the oven and its offering at the table. Bread is a part of all major events in many lives, from birth, to betrothal and marriage, to death and resurrection.”

~Bernard Dupaigne

“God made yeast, as well as dough, and he loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, “Now is that political or social?” He said, “I feed you.” Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”

~Bishop Desmond Tutu

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.”

~Ursula K. LeGuin

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”

~Aesop

“There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

“We have learned to see in bread an instrument of community between men—the flavour of bread shared has no equal.”

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine is drunk.”

~M.F.K. Fisher

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”

~Robert Browning

“Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It’s not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life.”

~Lionel Poilâne

“Bread and water—these are the things nature requires. For such things no man is too poor, and whosoever can limit his desire to them alone can rival Jupiter for happiness.”

~Seneca

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

~James Beard

“Without bread all is misery.”

~William Cobbett

Thoughts on gratitude…

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Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

~Psalm 139:7-8

In Your Midst

There is so much,

just so much to be grateful for.

But some days I don’t see it.

Mind-made problems cover me in fog.

Asleep.

Mind narrows.

Heart hardens.

My world becomes small.

Some days,

even in your midst,

I don’t see you.

But I catch glimpses.

The veil is lifted.

However slightly,

and briefly.

And then I remember.

I am humbled,

and tears well.

In gratitude.

Beauty overwhelms.

I have everything.

You are closer to me than I can imagine,

closer than my very breath.

There is so much to be grateful for.

In the midst of everything.

In the midst of you.

Every day; every hour.

Each second.

Right now, in fact.

All I have to do is look.

Urban Simplicity

Plus d’oiseaux…

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This is really a continuation of a previous post where I described riding past a tree and some bushes loaded with these little birds.  Well I was riding past this same location today and heard them chirping away again. And this time I had a better camera with me so I thought I’d take a few more shots. Click any for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Yup…it is cold and snowy (and a few things I saw on my walk)

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The above temperature is what we woke up to here in WNY. I know it is not nearly as cold as the Mid-West, but geeze ‘o man it is cold. I went out in it only briefly today (to split some logs for the wood-burning stove and then to the store fore a bottle of wine…necessities on both accounts), and no I did not ride a bike; I walked. It’s not that there is that much snow–we’ve had far more than this–but it’s the wind, the incredible wind, that makes it difficult when it is so cold. But at the same time it can be so very beautiful. Anyhow, on my short walk to the store I took a few photos and thought I’d share. And yes, as is usual custom in Buffalo, the bars stayed open and were quite full of revelers. So I stopped in for one on my way home.

 

Urban Simplicity.

Fish Balls!

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Ok. So I can hear you snickering. And also wondering…why fish? Well the simple answer is that I don’t eat a great deal of meat–almost never at home–and I really like fish. Anyhow, these are really delicious. I’ve posted other variations of these here (the tuna and chickpea meatballs are one of my favorites). Anyhow, I hope you try these. You’ll be glad you did…

Fish Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

Makes about 2 dozen small meatballs

1 pound fish, diced

½ cup diced sun dried tomatoes

2 large eggs

2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed and diced

1/2 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a coarse paste. Transfer to a clean bowl and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Shape into meatballs (if it feels to wet or loose add more bread or a few tablespoons of whole wheat flour, then allow it to rest for five minutes again). Cook the meatballs in a skillet, in an oven, or poach them in sauce.

La Neige…

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Urban Simplicity.

Brrr…

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Ok. So we are not alone in this. Like much of the north eastern US, we here in Buffalo are gripped with cold and snow. Did I mention cold? For my friends across the pond 7F translates to almost -14c. Anyhow, it is cold. And it’s gonna get colder (check out tomorrow’s low). It’s interesting though, even though I had to get off at a few points and actually push my bike (even with the studded snow tires) it still felt good being on a bike and out in the elements.   

Urban Simplicity.

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