Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."
-Ambrose Red Moon
I have found that in the process of changing careers and planning to leave New York and start all over, life and career, in Sonoma, the sensation of fear has been making a regular appearance in my life. I’ve been trying to deny the fear, so it doesn’t paralyze me or keep me from sleeping. However, as I move forward with my plans, I find that I will, every once in a while, turn the corner and come face to face with all the big looming fears of what “could go wrong out there.” I came across this quote in one of my old journals that I kept when trying to figure out what my next career move is and it seemed very appropriate for this moment in my life. It reminded me that what I am aiming for, this lofty goal of living my passion in a beautiful place surrounded by nature and wine, is important, even essential, to me and its worth all the feelings of uncertainty (on good days) and panic (on bad). I have no idea who Ambrose Red Moon is (Do any of you?) but I am thankful for his advice to make peace with fear and stay focused on the bigger picture.
One of the things I do when I’m in need of calming, is to bake a simple bread. In the summer, its often a sweet bread like zucchini or banana. However, a yeast bread, one that requires kneading and rising and punching down, is a very good therapeutic bread. This recipe is my easy, go-to one and makes a pretty fantastic grilled cheese sandwich.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1.5 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1.25 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon oat bran cereal
1/4 cup thick cut rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 beaten egg (optional)
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, warm water. Let sit for a few minutes to proof the yeast, and it should bubble and foam.
2. Stir the ingredients in, in the order given. Turn dough out on a well-floured pastry cloth and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more whole wheat flour as needed to prevent sticking. Kneed for 5-7 minutes.
3. Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with a clean, dry towel and let rise. Set bowl in a warm place to rise, about one hour.
4. Punch down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf and put on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with the clean towel and let rise for another hour until doubled. After its risen, slice a shallow slit in the middle and paint the surface with egg.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place oven rack in the center of oven and place bread on center of rack and bake for 25 minutes or until done (and it sounds hollow when you tap it.