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  • Sahar Abdulaziz

The Cybernetic Baking Organism


The minute the weather turns cooler; a switch goes off in my body. My engines are revved up, and I automatically am drawn to the kitchen, The Mother Ship, to start baking and cooking again. All summer long I felt no need to be slaving over meals that took longer and more energy to prepare than to eat. Now, as the temperatures outside toy with my emotions, I answer the call to mix, pound and bake obediently. I quickly turn into a cybernetic baking organism with the inability to question my prime directive: Lower your bowls, surrender your spoons, “Resistance is Futile.” [Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Borg]

Bread. Heavenly, fluffy, thick-crusted loaves upon loaves of bread, covered with butter, olive oil, jams or honey, or spread with cheeses -or better yet, left plain and dipped into stews and hearty soups. I can’t help myself. I promise each year to stay away from the caloric underpinning of the baked goods I adore, but the need is real. The call to action is overwhelming. Calories Be Damned! I’m coming in, and you dear readers are being dragged in with me. Buckle up. The ride can be bumpy. Project Bake Yourself into Oblivion has officially commenced.

The first rule of thumb, make sure the house is adequately stocked with all the major baking essentials. Yeast, flour, olive oil, butter, and all the other little delectables that one might throw in- like the endless variety of nuts, raisins, or dare I say it? Yes, I must- dry roasted tomatoes and basil, just to name a few.

Baguettes, rolls, bread sticks, flat bread, Focaccia, Oh my.

Secondly: Pull out all recipes, but only use the tried and true winners. There will be time enough in the season to experiment once the urgency of consumption has been satisfied. For now, only those breads that have proven successful in the past are invited to the bake-off. The desire to chew overrides imagination.

Quick Bread, sweet bread, Irish Soda Bread, Potato Breads - can you feel it?

Thirdly: Make friends with the elliptical again, going forward know only as ‘The Beast’, because in all honesty, I’m going to need to workout after what I plan on consuming. During the summer, I dismally fell off my exercise wagon. Besides feeling lazy, I was hot and annoyed, toiling under the sun painting the endless deck. And when not outside, I was behind the keyboard writing myself into a frenzy. Working diligently away on my next book’s edits, as well as blogs and interviews. There was no room left for healthy mobility I told myself, rather unconvincingly. My cottage cheese thighs are proof that I was lying. So I exercise to eat- that's my motto!

Rye and wheat bread, naan, Sourdough and multigrain bread, Bocadillo and pan . . . I can't take it.

Fourthly: Bake extra loaves to give away to friends who are already exercising, so I don’t feel as guilty about being such a lazy bum. Kidding! Relax! No one is judging anybody here, not really.

Banana, Zucchini, carrot loaves . . . Make it stop! Don't stop- try my recipe-----> YUM!

Fifthly: Is that a word, fifthly? I guess so- spell check seems fine with it. So, Fifthly, stock up the pantry with all the other staples needed to make the meals that will enhance a loaf of bread’s flavor. Don’t make the bread the sidekick- Bread is King! Bread is the star. Think I’m lying? Have a stew or soup or pasta covered in a luxurious marina sauce without it. Go ahead. I dare you. BORING . . .

Pizza dough, muffins, corn bread, Hot Cross Buns.

That's it!

OH! Don’t forget, bread machines count. The objective is to eat bread. How you get there is up to you. Other equipment you may need? Oven, bread pan, dough scraper, stand mixer, weighing scale and measuring cups and spoons, peel, a bread lame, and a good appetite.

Lastly, ignore everything I wrote above. Just chalk up my ramblings to a psychotic break in reality, and stay the course in your healthy eating plan. Don’t let me sabotage you. I’m a baddddd influence. Bad I tell you. Terrible. Horrible. Shameful even. And I need a time out!

Garlic knots, Bagels, Honey Pecan Coffee Cake, Carmel Sticky Buns . . . drooling . . .

Off to the corner I go, with my homemade loaf of French bread.

Alone.

By myself.

That’ll teach me!

Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom…


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