My Muse

— A role in my selfish dreams

With my husband on a morning beach walk.

Cooking and baking are activities that seem selfless.

I would love to make fresh bread or croissants for my husband to have in the morning. It's this wonderful idea that I can whip up something delicious to surprise him. I get excited thinking about him waking up to the smell of fresh pastries....

That's a fantasy I have, not him. If he had a list of 100 things he'd do before he dies, eating croissants wouldn't be one of them. I'm taking his time and energy when I place a fresh baked item in front of his face.

It's not that he doesn't enjoy it, it's that he's enjoying it because I'm enjoying the thought of him enjoying it. My husband probably enjoys the convenience much more: the food is placed in front of him when he's hungry. I'm extrapolating the delight I get from tasting and smelling fresh pastries onto him when I imagine this wonderful experience.

My husband doesn't enjoy baked goods to the extent I do, so this 'wonderful experience' isn't based on anything real. It's a collage of different aspects of my life. He's actually doing me a favor by having them.

Kalaloch Beach right before sunrise, around the time I would ideally get up and bake things. I rarely get up that early, that's why it's a fantasy.

I'm tickling myself. I know he'll eat my food because he's hungry in the morning. I orchestrate the scenario, then I get happy when it happens.

'Did you like it?' His positive feedback is crucial to how satisfied I am with the experience I've created for myself.

With the inspiration of waking up to fresh baked goods, I started bread baking again. This time I'm using Tartine Book No. 3: Ancient Grains. The same recipe for the country bread is in the book, the one I attempted more than a dozen times. Instead of looking up Youtube videos and other sites to get alterations on the recipe, I'm going to actually follow the recipe.

I strayed from the directions when things didn't work out. But now with clear photos, I can see how close I was to the original method, closer than any of the altered techniques I tried.

Today, I prepared the yeast. It'll sit for three days before I can start feeding it. Soon, I'll be able to live my dream.

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