Late nights are the norm now, with mugs of tea and snacks to accompany. Eye-bags are the new Chanel. Moony lullabies by Lana Del Rey, Hozier and the like echo in my head. The bulk of my week is spent at school, with my creative hours turning me nocturnal. I sit, I write, I think. I write about my thoughts, my reflections, my opinions. I think about purpose, values and meaning. I try to make meaning out of my jumbled thoughts.
The fleetingness of the days astounds me, sometimes. It's like I'm hopping across the calendar, with the hands of clocks speeding towards the end of days. The ephemeral moments are precious, really. They remind me of impermanence - of how morning mist is evanescent, of how everything eventually comes to an end.
I value experiences, the emotions that come with it, the takeaway of memories sweetened with time. And yet, I'm held back by the future. I'm restrained by the consequences, the aftereffects. Still, I attempt to inhabit the present - to live in the moment, to savor the instantaneous instants before they fade away.
As of now, I find the surreal in reality, the magic of everyday. I'm living life as it is, one day at a time, with the simple pleasures that appear occasionally. I take deep breaths of the morning air scented with mist, break bread and eat for the sake of eating well, and walk, not run, hoping that I'll be able to see the sights.
And right here, is more bread. Schoolwork proves to be time-consuming, and I, impatient. But soda bread is quick and doesn't require much patience (or effort). The process is easy to clean up, and the outcome sweet and filling. A hint of cinnamon is apparent, with crumbs studded with crystallized ginger and fruit peel. It's best enjoyed toasted lightly, with or without a spread.
Cinnamon Ginger Rye Soda Bread
time taken: 40 mins / make: 10 mins / cook: 30 mins
makes 1 large loaf
1 1/2 c rye flour
2 1/2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c brown sugar
1 c milk
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp crystallized ginger. chopped finely
1 tbsp dried fruit peel
1. Preheat oven to 220c.
2. In a large bowl, sift flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar until well combined.
3. In another bowl, pour in the milk and oil. Add the egg in and whisk to combine.
4. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well until a dough in formed. Knead in the ginger and fruit peel.
5. Form into an 8-inch circle, make a cross by cutting the top 1 inch deep. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When removed, it should sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
6. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so before slicing. Serve warm to enjoy or store.
- to be continued -