Rotating through several families, every few weeks it's my time to bake loaves of prosphora for church. Yesterday was my day.
The early morning was spent walking the dog, preparing breakfast, starting laundry, stretching, and trimming the lemon tree. It's still not fully trimmed because once I begin baking, I give my full attention to the six loaves, barely leaving the kitchen for the next couple of hours.
I always begin with music. This time I was lucky, and had the house completely to myself (except for the dog, who made himself comfortable in "his" chair)--I set Pandora to my Arvo Part selection and began with a background of choral and liturgical music to help transport me a step closer to a place of prayer...
With the dough already through the first rise (that's what was happening when I was out chatting with and working on our beloved lemon) I start the molding process. Since I bake two full batches (three loaves in each batch) there is almost always something to be doing, with only a few breaks over the next couple of hours. When I do have an extra moment I heat up a cup of chai, find a book, and sit on the floor next to the sink. If I leave the kitchen it's certain I'll forget some major something--I know myself well enough, and have baked long enough, that I don't trust my trips to the backyard, or to the front porch, and definitely don't want to get sidetracked by my writing. (I once forgot to pick up my toddler from preschool because I was in the middle of some really lovely sentences! Oh, my...)
When the loaves are cooling, I say a prayer of thanks, breathe a long sigh of relief, change the music to something more upbeat, and clean up for vespers. It's one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday. I plan for it, and am thankful it doesn't come each and every week, but when it's my turn, I give my full attention to this lovely act of service and prayer. What if we lived every day that way--as an offering, prayerful, intentional?
Published: August 21, 2016 | Filed under: Home