Waste not, want not: A teaser

by piecurious

When life is busy and all your waking hours (and even some of your sleeping hours) are spoken for, a rare moment of quiet stillness is a moment to revel in.  That hot cup of tea at the end of busy day, well-deserved and therefore sipped serenely without the suffocating pressure of things to-do; those brief moments curled up on the couch, eyes blurring words from stories of magical realism—those are the moments when you muse contentedly before dreamily drifting away that life is indeed good and not a moment of it is being wasted.

And when not a moment is being wasted—when every moment that is spoken for is a moment readily given—then you might find that you want for nothing.  Because even the moments of exhaustion, of physical discomfort (say, when rolling baguettes outdoors in sub zero weather, your fingers frozen and claw-like); moments of confusion, frustration or disappointment—they’re all worth it.  Why? Because you’re doing something you love.

I’ve never been one for idleness, be it idle chatter or idle activity.  I’ve never mastered the ability to engage in small talk or to whittle away time.   Luckily for me I have found myself perfectly positioned along a time-space continuum where opportunities I have dreamed of are within arms reach, seemingly almost too good to be true.  But I’d like to think I’m an optimist, and therefore I can only acknowledge that it really is true.

But all the flowery language, overabundance of adjectives and redundant sentence structures aside, what I’m trying to say is lately I’ve been busy with a number of amazing and exciting projects.  Let me share them with you.

I’ve already told you about Elora’s Kitchen in the Park Project (KIPP).  The first week of April we held an Easter bake-off that took hours of planning and logistical manoeuvring.  I’d be lying if I said everything went according to plan, but regardless it was a great success and we baked and sold over 500 dinner rolls and 75 baguettes to happy customers.

Less demanding but sure to ramp up as we approach the day of festivities, I’ve  joined the steering committee for the Guelph-Wellington Local Food Fest, through which I have met a number of marvellous people dedicated to ensuring you have an enjoyable afternoon on June 24th exploring your local food community.

Similarly, I have joined the steering committee for the Perth-Waterloo-Wellington chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers.  And although my involvement has been minimal, I am already astounded by the number of people I have met who volunteer endless personal effort and time to promoting organics and healthy sustainable food systems, without a political agenda but rather with the goal of creating a flourishing sustainable community.

Even more recently (and very exciting!) I have accepted the role of Regional Ambassador for Ontario (excluding Toronto) for the Food Bloggers of Canada!  I am floored and can’t wait to become more actively involved in building a strong Ontario food blogger community.

And while each and every one of these opportunities is exciting.  There is something even bigger.  Even better.  Something that has to do with many of the images you see here—images of bread, bread, bread.  We spent the weekend testing sourdough recipes.  Some were winners, hands down.  And some were, well, let’s just say insufficient for what we were aiming for.  But why, you must be wondering?  It does seem a bit odd that a regular old home bread baking enthusiast would spend the weekend baking over ten loaves of bread (let’s not even mention the painful fullness that came with testing each and every one thoroughly).  But I can’t tell you just yet!

In the meantime I wished to offer you a recipe, a recipe that played on the phrase waste not, want not.  If you’re at all familiar with sourdough, you will know that you maintain a starter which, in larger quantities, can lead to serious waste as you discard starter to maintain a happy yeast culture.  There are a number of recipes scattered across the web and no doubt in numerous cookbooks that tell you how to use your starter discards.  Only just the other day did one of my favourite bloggers—Tara from Tea with Cookies—write a post on this very topic!

But I wanted to construct my own recipe and I had just the idea in mind: a hearty honey oatmeal bread made in part with sourdough starter.  Unfortunately, as I am sure is often the case with people who are developing recipes from scratch, the first go was less than perfect.  It was good, but it needs work.  So I can only tease you with what’s to come… once I find the time.