I made pizza dough this afternoon and, while kneading it, thought (once again) how soothing an activity it is. I haven’t written an Inn post recently, I thought; perhaps I’ll write about this.
Then it occurred to me that I was falling into a similar trap to a journal attempt I made when I was in grade six. I went to England to visit relatives for six weeks, my parents feeling this was an educational opportunity that warranted missing two months of classes. I was given the assignment of writing a journal describing my trip.
This being my first attempt at such a diary or journal, I didn’t know what to write. I don’t have the journal handy — it’s probably in a box in my closet at my parents’ house — but I do remember what the English teacher said on handing it back to me: that it was well written (for an eleven-year-old), but that I might have written more about the things I saw rather than the things I ate.
Well. Contemplating my last few posts, I seem to be having the same sort of problem. Books I read — that’s not so boring, right? But the food I’m cooking . . . ? Maybe. I certainly read a food blog I much enjoy, Smitten Kitchen, and I enjoy looking at cookbooks and cooking magazines and the like. And apparently I like meditating on, and writing about, the process of cooking and how it can be made sacramental, even accidentally, as with bread.
When I was in England at the age of eleven I went to see The Phantom of the Opera and the Natural History Museum (which involves a story for another day; there was a bomb scare, a level of sophistication I had never even imagined possible thitherto), to the Hard Rock Café and to the white cliffs of Dover when I went to visit my uncle in Kent. I saw Stonehenge and a safari park and the London Zoo and all sorts of wonderful things.
But I wrote about food.
If ever I decide to write a travel memoir, I think I will have to be on my guard about this. Or perhaps I should just think about learning to write most entertainingly about food? I seem to do well with thinking about high flights of fancy and philosophy, or the practical details of bread and cheese and stew, but that middle ground between . . . well, I’m working on it.
But this reminds me: I left the dough in the oven. (It didn’t rise properly, so I’ll have to have the pizza tomorrow; I made risotto for supper tonight.)