Over the years since I planted two Elephant Heart plum trees in my back yard garden, I have begun to notice a pattern: In February or March the trees begin to put out their blooms, and in the same months we get hailstorms. Then I say something on my blog, like, “I worry about my plum blossoms!”
This is the eighth springtime that these trees have found themselves in my garden when they woke from dormancy. Every summer I get more fruit, so I guess things are pretty good. This particular first day of March is still very cold and windy, but the sun is shining in a blue sky, and it looks like we’ll have three days of sunshine before we welcome the rain again.
I’m almost out of firewood, and it doesn’t look like I’ll get any more for this season; but I have a good furnace, which I wouldn’t mind using even more than I do if it weren’t so noisy. When I get tired of its roar I turn down the thermostat and put on a coat. Today I have time to build a fire before going to a Lenten service in the evening, and it will be nice to come home to a cozy and quiet house.
What’s another cozy and homey thing? Baking bread! Even if it’s done in the big church kitchen. Three of us made that kitchen nice and comfortable yesterday when we made these loaves of Communion bread together.
My computer guy came yesterday afternoon to do a check-up on my desktop; he hadn’t been here for so long, we had a lot to catch up on. His happiest news was all the sourdough bread baking he has been doing for his family, of which he showed me photos of the sort they put on the covers of artisan bread cookbooks. He is going to leave a jar of his starter on my doorstep tomorrow! I have been thinking for a few months that I want to come out of my bread-baking retirement. It’s just too severe a cutting away of my former self, not baking bread, and I’m going to try to graft that branch back in.
One reason I gave it up was that so many people are eating gluten-free, and it seemed a challenge to find people to give my (mostly excess) bread to; I feel differently about that part now, for some reason. Yesterday we ended up with two little bits of dough left over, and made them into two “buns” that we baked along with the regular loaves. You can see the smaller one at the top left of the photo above. I took that one home and ate it for lunch, and it was the most delicious thing. Bread is a wonder.