Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baking bread / Plotting / Laura Ingalls Wilder

There is a connection, but first... a couple of facts.

1. I love to cook - specifically, I love to bake bread.
2. I am short. (almost 5' 2")

Today I decided to try a new recipe--Spiced lentil, sweet potato, and kale whole wheat pockets.  Because the pockets are yeast risen, the dough must be kneaded. Kneading dough is fun for me for a couple of reasons. I love the repetitive motion of press, fold, turn, repeat... and I find it meditative. It's also the perfect time for creative ideas to bubble up.

Unlike many bakers though - who move the dough effortlessly from mixing bowl to their kneading surface (mine is a big old board reserved exclusively for bread and/or pie crusts), I have to get out my trusty stool to stand on. Why? Because my kitchen counter is too high for me to get good leverage on the dough.
trusty stool

This morning, as I was kneading, I thought about Laura Ingalls Wilder. When my daughters were little (way too long ago for me to admit), on the way back from visiting family out West, we drove to Mansfield, Missouri to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. It was the last place Laura and Almonzo lived, and he built this farmhouse there.

picture from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum website

One of the things that most impressed me about the house was the kitchen counter. Apparently Laura was short, like me. Well, actually a lot shorter! (4' 11") And, Almonzo built the kitchen counters so that they would be comfortable for her to use. (What a guy!)

So - today, while the dough is rising, and the outside temps are frigid (1° F), I am at the dining room table writing what I plotted earlier while kneading the dough.

Teaser from XVI Series Book 3:

"Every muscle and sinew was poised to leap on him, to destroy him. But, that was exactly what he wanted me to do—fight. I would fight, but not with my body."

Keep warm & have a FUN Thursday!


  1. Hurray for super-cute foot stools and yeast breads, and whatever else helps you rise to the writing challenges you face on a given day. (Bonus points for enduring endless days of frigid temps! However do you keep yourself --er, that yeast dough--from succumbing to the cold?)

    1. Hey Melodye! It's been a tough couple of cold days here. We're getting all our winter at once! I wear layers - lots of layers! And, I put the dough on a table right above one of the heat registers! :)

  2. We're the same height! At my mom's house there is a stool with that same saying. I find walks and showers good times for stories to percolate. I'll have to try kneading.

    1. Hey Katie! We are the same height! I love that saying - I actually have two of those stools, for when I need to be both tall & small! :)