The Island of Lost SOLs: Kitchen Magic

Heh.  My computer hasn’t been playing nice with me lately: freezing in the middle of things, announcing that it is infected by some evil malware.  The result, aside from my utter frustration, is that I couldn’t get my SOLs posted for the last part of the Slice of Life challenge. Fox, in her online savviness, found a DIY article about the exact malware that’s hobbled me.  Last night I bought an external hard drive, and tonight I’m taking all my writing, music and photos off the computer and attempting to erase the badness.  (If that doesn’t work, there’s still the Geek Squad at Best Buy.)  It’s weeks now that I’m sans computer.  I have my mini, but it’s just so small to be an every day machine.  My big hands want a full-sized keyboard.  My aging eyes want a bigger screen.  Churning out grant proposals on this little machine made me tired.  But I’ve decided to stop whining.  I have a working computer, so I’m using it.  I missed the last weeks of the Slice of Life challenge, and I refuse to miss my month of poetry.

But what to do with all the SOLs I wrote in the last half of March but never got to post?  I like some of them.  A lot.  So, giving in to my love of the silly blog post title, I’m going to put them up over the next few weeks under the perfect-perfect heading: Island of Lost SOLs.

Here’s Lost SOL #1 from March 21st:

And the kitchen magic?  Well, actually just cooking.  The real magic of today is that we somehow managed to get all three proposals out the door with only an hour to spare before the deadline and got them all submitted.  I still can’t quite believe it.  If not for Mopsy and my boss, it would never have happened.

So, after more than a week of not enough sleep and almost no time off (Back to back weekends in the office is a bad plan, people. Learn from the error of my ways!), I came home tonight and … worked.  I am tired enough to just have walked in the door and gone to sleep, but instead I decided I needed to make some soup and do some baking.  Cooking always makes me feel better.  And not just because I like to eat.  I really like making stuff.  And baking … baking is all that times 10.  So, even on a night like tonight, cooking was a kind of relaxation therapy.

What was on the menu tonight? Baked Winter Squash Soup and whole wheat rolls.  This time I took pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have recently felt the urge to bake yeast bread.  I bake relatively often, but I’m queen of the quick breads, the ones that require baking powder or soda, not yeast.  I made a spicy loaf of white bread a couple of weeks ago (really: it had cayenne in it!).  As I was kneading the dough, I realized I hadn’t made yeast bread maybe since I was a teenager, still living at home.  My mom was the bread baker.  She used to make several loaves of delicious whole wheat bread a week — the family supply.  I baked a little then, but never felt any pressing urge to do it.  That was my mom’s territory.  Then Fox started baking, and she was really good at it, so bread baking became her territory, too.  Fear not, I had some territory of my own — lasagne, in particular, macaroni and cheese more recently.  And I like quick breads, but they aren’t the same as the yeast ones.

With both Fox and my mom living three states away, I figure it’s high time for me to step into the territory I ceded to them so many years ago.  And, while I’m not sure where the bread-baking yen has come from, I’m enojoying both the process and the yummy results!

Thick dough yielding under my hands
minute after minute, again.
Smell of yeast is a memory —
my mother and sister knew how,
knew this quiet ritual. Now
that knowledge comes at last to me.
My house smells like family, like love
steam from fresh loaves rising above
warming my face with history.



My eyes need
something easy
come rest yourself
by here

— Ruth Forman

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the day’s slices at Two Writing Teachers!

10 thoughts on “The Island of Lost SOLs: Kitchen Magic

  1. I’m already loving this *Island of Lost SOLs* and this is Day One! I’m also glad that this SOL stands for Slice Of Life and not the other well known acronym given your recent computer woes.

    Froman’s piece made me smile as it was something akin to what my late-husband would say to me when it had been one of those days and he wanted a moment’s repose.

    The Winter Squash Soup and whole wheat rolls look simply delicious. My mouth watered from the pictures. As for your nove otto, it was the perfect accompaniment. It reminded me of the holidays in my home, when I would go on a two-three day cooking marathon.

    “My house smells like family, like love
    steam from fresh loaves rising above
    warming my face with history”

    Yes, that is *home* for me also.


    1. I think today I am finally past the computer trouble (fingers crossed). Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I really loved making that soup and bread! And I’ve been having an interesting time trying to write the nove ottos. Sometimes they just fall into place, like this one. Other times, I can’t get to the inside kernel to save my life. So maddening!


  2. I am so glad this is not a lost slice. YUM! The slide show is great (I have no idea how that is done). I avoid yeast because somehow I kill the yeast so it never rises. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thanks, Elsie! WordPress taught me how to do the slide show, and I like throwing one in every now and then. I’m glad I didn’t let this slice fall by the way side, too!


  3. MaryHelen

    Glad you saved your slices. The slide show pictures add to your creativity. You have been busy. I like how you interwove memories into your poem.


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