Libraries, baking bread, and picnics

Strangely, even though I enjoy books and I love to read I haven’t stepped foot in a library for years; I’ve held a library card since I was about eight years old but have scarcely used it, probably because I’ve never really liked the Alice M. Farr library in Aurora. It’s frightfully dismal from the outside and cheerless even on the inside with its bright florescent lights and gold tinged carpeting. The library here in Boulder is a different experience altogether, I was excited to walk through its clean, sliding glass doors into its world of words. I’m afraid I looked a little too awed as I slowly came in — I’d never been in a library two stories tall! The first floor was almost entirely for children’s books so after taking a look around there I gingerly stepped onto the spiral staircase in the middle of the library to make my way up to the next floor of bliss. Once upstairs, to my embarrassment my phone proclaimed (with the speaker set to “on”) “RECHARGE, BATTERY LOW!” I quickly turned it off and resumed my wandering. I had a delightful time perusing books from section to section, finally settling down with Sylvia Plath’s journal near a window in the adult non-fiction section. Alise joined me later and we decided this will definitely be a retreat for us — a free, beautiful way to spend our time.

This evening we baked in our apartment. I made a couple loaves of whole wheat bread while Alise baked a pear cake she found a recipe for to use up some of the delicious pears from my parent’s fruit trees back home. We haven’t tasted the cake yet but it smells like all your favorite memories neatly wrapped into one little cake. I can hardly wait to take my first bite!

The bread was not starting out well. We have a Whisper Mill here in the apartment and for years I’ve only used a Nutrimill for grinding grain. It’s fine to add grain to a Nutrimill before turning the machine on but under no conditions are we supposed to put grain into the Whisper Mill and then turn it on, it should be on and running first. I was daydreaming though and dumped my grain in while the machine was off. I then spent the next little while shaking the machine every which way to get every last piece of grain out, all the while so afraid I had ruined the machine. I was finally pretty well convinced I had shook it enough and tried turning it on. To my great relief it ran! I poured my grain in once again but then realized I didn’t have the lid completely secured onto the flour bucket so now there’s flour all over the counter amongst the wheat berries from earlier. I was in quite a mess.

By some miracle, this bread dough turned out to be the nicest I’ve ever mixed up… and I was so distracted the whole time! The loaves rose so high while baking they practically touched the top of the oven until I moved the rack down one slot. Maybe the elevation and the drier air up here in Colorado helped. Whatever it is, it’s very nice.

Now, to jump back a little, we did go on our picnic yesterday into the mountains. We left a little later than we expected and the traffic was very slow since we were there as everyone was getting off work in Boulder. We made it into the mountains after driving for quite a while and not finding a good place to pull over and have a nice meal we decided to just use a little side parking area where no one else was. It was right next to the highway but it was also next to a creek so it was an okay spot to stop. We were planning to eat on the rocks by the water’s edge until we noticed all the ants. We ended up having a marvelous time in the back of our vehicle. And sure enough, we drove on a little further after our meal and there was a perfect picnic place.

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One response to “Libraries, baking bread, and picnics

  1. Pingback: Just a Hello | Living Life Fully·

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