"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

There's a Bakery Past the White-washed Pooh; or, A Short Post


Tonight I was driving home from university.
I passed a commercial bakery, and smelled a yeasty, dense, slightly chemical smell, as if I were the proverbial Princess of the Pea , sitting on a pile of mattresses---if the mattresses were all plastic sacks filled with spongy white-bread hot dog buns.
It made me laugh.

I laughed imagining myself as such a princess; I laughed imagining that the bread starter making its way in the mail from Bee and Jai must smell so differently, so elemental and alive in its fermentation.
It's funny to me how things dance together, as if they are so much dough and freshly ground spices, dry fruits soaked to swollen, rising up in the heat of the oven: absolutely delicious, absolutely worth passing around to share.
Don't you think?


Diane O'Connor said...

... with real butter melting all over it. There's nothing like it!

I have lots of neckties said...

Ahhh, yes. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had never noticed that now-covered-over Pooh drawing, but I do notice the aromas coming from that bakery you are talking about.

Luckily those erotic billboards I drive past have yet to affect my sense of smell!

neroli said...

Absolutely, Diane!
Either that, or ghee made from organic, european-style butter ;)

Lots Of, I'm glad you know what I mean---what's your take on that smell? I *want* to like it...yet it's somehow a little off for me---like the tail end of the bag of hot dog buns left inside the plastic cooler all afternoon in the hot sun...or something like it.

Diane O'Connor said...

I relate to the "wanting" to like it. It brings up sweet memories of the past when I could eat those kinds of things and my body wouldn't retaliate in some way. Nowadays, I'm sugar, wheat, dairy, chocolate and yeast free. Sounds awful, but it really isn't so those smells just bring up sweet memories. However, if I'm in a grocery store and I happen to go down the cereal or candy section I am absolutely nauseated!!! (laughing) You know... the sugar smell is so intense it just about knocks me down!

bee said...

that's my idea of heaven - a mattress lined with bread, topped with sheets of butter.

there's somthing bery comforting and heart-warming about baking your own.

neroli said...

Diane, you have my admiration---I try to eliminate white flours and rice, white potatoes and sugar...so I can't imagine!
But you're right: your tastes change, and I really enjoy the way I eat.
Slipping makes me feel gross!

Bee, I'd buy a mattress from that same store!
Baked goods and breads are really a craving of mine :)