No place like home.

Today marks my 6th day in a row being at home. Last week I was felled by the plague (again), but I worked from home while chugging soup, hot tea and Delsym. Then I canceled all plans for the weekend to rest, except for one short jaunt to the grocery store for the requisite pre-storm eggs and milk. Come Monday, half a foot of snow and ice fell. And here’s the scariest part:  I haven’t minded one bit. I’ve been completely relishing in my homebodiness while “snowed in” — I’ve watched TV, I’ve cleaned my house, I’ve read a book, I’ve talked on the phone, I’ve watched some movies, I’ve made dinner. I’ve even had time to bake two loaves of bread.

Bread might be my favorite food, and I will eat it in any form:  a sandwich, toast, crackers, rolls, scones, pancakes, even croutons. (I obviously would fail miserably at the Atkins diet.) You probably know that I a) enjoy a culinary challenge, b) am wary of what’s in my food, c) bake to offset stress and d) like preserving the slow ways of cooking. For those reasons, I started baking my own bread about a year ago. I used to be afraid of yeast and the finicky nature of dough, but I’ve learned that I like working with it as much as I like eating the finished product. Sure, there’s all that kneading and rising and punching. But it’s kind of a miracle when you can put some flour, butter and water in the oven and a light, flaky baked good comes out. Keep reading »