untitled poem 1.29.19

For the dVerse prompt of harbinger.

Such simple substance
This everyday alchemy
A transmutation
To feed the masses
From the lowly common
Flour — water — time
To slow breathing elixir
Barmy moist and fecund
Persistent —
Feeding growing changing —
Insistent — Given salt
The conjuror’s final sleight
Chooses form given function
Given heat — The awaited crackle
Precedes the redolent waft
Harbinger of the feast

 

I bake sourdough bread, traditionally, slowly, using only flour, water and salt. It’s magic. Featured image is my bowl of starter.

25 thoughts on “untitled poem 1.29.19”

    1. 🙂 It’s been too cold to bake, and will be for several more days. I am at the whim of the apartment building’s steam heat and do not have a thermostat. I really want some bread! 🙂

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  1. I LOVE this! Many many years ago, 25+, when we lived in our country house in Iowa, I had a sour dough starter someone had given me. I nurtured it….used it for breads, pancakes….the stuff of life. You’ve made me think I should get a sour dough starter started again! 🙂

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    1. Instead of throwing out the extra starter when I feed it, I try to make things like waffles, by just adding egg, sugar, milk and baking soda to the starter. Yum. The waffles are a little chewier than “straight” waffles, but the flavor makes up for it. Gah, I’m getting hungry again. 🙂

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    1. In life, so do I! 🙂 The apartment smells wonderful as the bread bakes. The line before, about the crackling, is what happens, if I’m lucky, before the aroma. If everything goes to plan, and you’re quiet and nearby, you’ll hear the bread crackle. Soon after, at least with this oven, the wafting begins.

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  2. Ah, the bread! What a great, detailed description of the process, and then the scent of it at the end – the perfect harbinger. I love it.

    I have struggled with sourdough in the past. You have to be quite dedicated, i think. It’s a way of life…

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    1. I lived in the Bay Area for about twenty years. Yes, we get so spoiled about the bread, fresh produce and the coffee. I’m now on the other coast, and while we get great maple syrup and other things, you have to look long and hard for anything that even resembles real, traditional sourdough.

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    1. Thank you for the comment about the em dashes and flow. It’s important to hear such things. Yeah, just the starter sitting out can sometimes make the small apartment scream “bread time!” 🙂

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      1. I make wild sourdough also. My local continuing education center held a class on kombucha, which started the fermentation interest, then I picked up a copy of Sandor Katz’ book, “Wild Fermentation”. The rest is history. Yes, the little creeters like it warm.

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