November 7 marked the one year anniversary of this blog, which has prompted pause for reflection on how it has changed my life and what value it has provided.For one thing, it has eaten up a significant amount of time, but on the positive side the rewards have been well-worth it. I’ve long thought that a good teacher learns at least as much as the students and in this case, thanks to the terrific feedback and exchange of ideas, it is certainly so. But perhaps our blog ‘host’ said it best when he wrote in his newsletter that this blog has created a community of bakers. What is most gratifying to me is that the spirit of this blog is in harmony with the slow food movement which implicitly counteracts that of fast food—the source of many evils. In place of the dumbed-down, simple, quick and easy message is the far more empowering one of competency, evolution, and challenge. After all it’s a truism that when one makes an effort to achieve something the rewards are richer and more long-lasting, whereas things that come too easily are far less valued and quickly forgotten. (I’m still mystified as to the appeal of “dumb and dumber.”) Ironically though, I was thrilled by the appearance of the NY Times No-Knead Bread article which lead to the longest thread on the blog to date. I was thrilled because it got people around the world making bread and discovering that it really is possible to make fantastic bread at home “letting the bread do all the work.” And I’m confident that for many who got hooked on this easy method, which works so well for a particular type of rustic bread, it will now lead to other interesting and slightly more demanding bread possibilities. My current concern (and maybe hope) is that there may be so much traffic on this blog there will be no way to keep up with all the responses and questions. But on the positive side, many of your questions and contributions are invaluable and the chances are ever increasing that eventually everything you’ve ever wondered about baking will be found with a quick search on the blog. Then, when everyone is busily and successfully baking, I can go back full-time to my most beloved activity after baking: Telling stories. Happy Baking!
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