First, to business. For those who aren't signed up for a Winter Bread Subscription, or who want additional loaves, I'm baking Red & White, Mountain Rye, Pain de Méteil, and Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies to order next week. The Méteil was a staple bread in the days before roller-milled wheat flour consumed French baking. It is half wheat, half rye (méteil means meslin, a rather esoteric term for a mix of rye and wheat), and is leavened with both wheat and rye sours for a deep, complex flavor. It is often paired with hearty foods like coq au vin or strong cheese.
We're half way through the Winter Bread Subscription, which means it's almost time to start signing up for the Spring Bread Subscription! If you have any feedback on this first round or are interested in pulling together neighbors or coworkers to create your own pickup location next time around, I'd love to hear from you.
And finally, looking past spring and into summer, I'm starting to put out feelers for a bread lover/salesperson to work the Wednesday farmers market for me next June-August. If you're interested, or know someone who might be, let's talk.
I have spent too many daylight hours these past weeks zombie-eyed in front of a screen, shuffling through the ugly underbelly of self-employment. I have been sorting the hundreds of unread emails, gathering scattered tax documents, trying to unearth bookkeeping mistakes now so far buried there's no hope of reconciliation, working through a clunky inventory system held together with duct tape and blind stubbornness that should have been rebuilt years ago.
Because my mind is undisciplined and childish, this means I spend at least as much time wandering the twisted side streets of the internet as I do sorting through my inbox and spreadsheets. Even these frequent breaks might be useful were I taking them to read deep, or to explore the resources of the myriad organizations devoted to supporting small business. But of course, I do nothing so practical. It's social media and skimmed op-eds, late night comedy clips and back to social media.
I emerge from these lost days bleary eyed and attention shot, craving prose that my mind is too scattered to take in and long walks long after the sun has set.
How do you stand steady under the magnetic pull of ever-accessible media? "It's such a lucky accident, having been born, that we're almost obliged to pay attention," the poet-essayist, Mark Strand, once wrote. I want to pay attention. I want to always live a three-dimensional life.
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