The strawberries are gone, but now in the long afternoons raspberries are plucked and eaten with bare feet on a warm path. Peas replace spinach once in abundance. The grass still green but poppies fade. Wabi Sabi, a Japanese aesthetic and worldview that accepts the transience of life, and its natural lacks. A beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. There is a spiritual longing and serene melancholy to living and valuing that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Kitchen a succession of moments
The kitchen is but a succession of these moments: the dawn light and water drawn for tea, a table set with family dishes dear to the heart, conversation with loved ones soon to end as the day progresses. The chopping, cooking, stirring; the washing and drying, each its moment in the succession of moments. Food made with creativity and hope, soon eaten and cleared away. Nothing’s ever captured to keep, but a gradual patina builds up over the objects and practices that sustain and nourish a family and life. A patina that lets us know that nothing is for keeps, cherish now, and live.
holding impermanence dear
Wabi Sabi is imperfection, holding the natural impermanence of your life dear. The cracks and failures of the day, the mess, and places you had hoped to get to. The food that simply fills a bowl and then a stomach. No fancy lighting, no gloss, just simplicity--reality. A fresh quietness in letting be, an elegance inherent in the quirks and anomalies. How the hands touch and make the food, how the food touches us with its beauty, how we are touched through the winding paths of kitchen processes.
Escape the distractions
When we slow down engage our senses, and allow life to happen as it happens, instead of getting caught up in ‘should be ’. When we let the food surround us, the chipped bowls and plates, each action in the stream of doing a remembrance that helps us connect to the real world, and escape the endless distractions that pull us away from living.
Soda Bread is Wabi sabi
Soda bread is quintessentially wabi sabi, a homey loaf made to accompany a bowl of broth. Rustic, with the fingerprints of forming, never a true circle always a breath off. Baked with intention. There is nothing elevated about soda breads, they are modest, simple, close to the earth. But in the making all is found. Dry flour meets the alchemy between soda and buttermilk. The cross marked on top that unconsciously reminds that we have a center, and can return to it at any moment we choose. The smell of a baking loaf, the high warmth of ovens. The delight as soda bread pulled out, browned and golden, to rest before slicing. It’s now part of the family, celebrated then forgotten, and its crumbs you are brushing off the table, beforing turning to the next thing. Soda Bread, we turn to you.
Fermented Quimper Soda Bread
Fermentation Ingredients 1 cup rye flour 1 cup ground oatmeal 2 cup gf flour mix 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (measure and then grind) ½ cup unsalted butter cut into small dice ¼ cup mineral rich sugar 2 teaspoons caraway seeds 1 cup currants or raisins 2 cups milk kefir
Before Baking Ingredients 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons water 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Instructions In a food processor: Grind oatmeal fine Add all other dry ingredients + caraway seeds and pulse Pulse in butter and raisins ( you want the raisins to be ground up) Add milk kefir and stir to combine Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight Morning Instructions Preheat oven to 375F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Mix salt, soda and zest with water into a slurry, pour slurry into dough and combine thoroughly Divide into two, and shape into flattened round loaves ( 7 inches across) Slash with a cross Bake for 35-45 minutes until browned and golden and smells delicious. Serve warm with butter.
With Love Enjoy Revisionist Baking Society Recipe 2016 all rights reserved
Wabi Sabi is wisdom in natural simplicity.
The imperfections of the day only make the day dearer.