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Getting past my weirdnesses

Years ago, when I was a student living in a small second unit in Los Angeles, I went to Michigan to visit my family over Thanksgiving. When I came back my friends had cleaned up my home. I felt devastated, violated, insulted. I managed to say how I felt to my stepmother Elizabeth and she wisely suggested that my friends did this out of love for me. I wasn't sure of it but I tried to accept it. Sometimes I feel like statements or actions by others, particularly related to some activity I do myself (like cleaning house but doing it badly) are a kind of condemnation of me. Like they are saying I dont know how to do it right.

Yesterday Paul took on a bread making experiment. I saw a bowl with some flour thing in it, covered with plastic. It didn't look like kneaded bread but it did seem to be rising. I thought he was trying to make bread but didn't get the kneading part.

That evening, while I was sitting in the living room, he said he hoped I didn't mind, that he was making biga.

"who-ah?" I asked.

"Biga. It's the only way to make real Italian bread," he said.

I then heard him correctly. "Oh, the starter. Yes," I said.

But what I heard him say was this: "I'm making a starter about which you know nothing, you who think you can cook".

I felt resentful. I thought, did he have to say it in that way? Couldn't he have said "I'm making biga, the starter they use in Italian bread"? Making it more neutral? Like I would be expected to know? Which in fact I did?

Anyway, eventually he did put together the bread and bake it. When it came out he wasn't altogether satisfied. I didn't have any right away but he cut himself slab after slab and soaked it in marinara sauce. That was his dinner last night. He mentioned his dissatisfaction. I mentioned that he had used a "white whole wheat flour" which I had used in my last batch of bread, and that I had not liked it much. Didn't seem to have much flavor. He said he had thrown in some actual whole wheat, thinking this was actual white. I said well, then, it probably has more flavor.

I finally sliced myself one and I rather liked it. Not perfect but it had potential.

Today, after I came back from getting some wine (and books) I knocked on his door and, flashing a slice of his latest version of his bread, said I had bought some Big Red Wine to go with his bread. He said he liked his latest version, that it seemed more like bread. I said I liked the other one too.

In this way I got past my weirdness.

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