Flower of wisdom
Recently found in the South of Miami, at a Botanical garden though this one could probably be met with around every corner.
Germans are known throughout the world for being pensive and often ill tempered, the latter is actually just an expression of the former. A typical German also accepts, fears and in rare cases even seeks other people’s opinion on his status or performance. Even though during the last century it did not always appear like this.
As a result of too much thinking and general abstinence to the worldly pleasures of life (other than drinking lots of beer and eating copious amounts of inhumanely raised pork), the inhabitants of Germany write great poems, make beautiful classical music and flee the country on a regular basis in order to catch up with the rest of the world.
Since I completed the escape part, try to refrain from the pork, and do not have a clue about the rest I focus on taking the quality of our all-organic breads and crackers to the next level. In this pursuit I rely on the opinion and help individuals offer in daily life. I am eagerly listening to their input, waiting for the deeper sense of the philosophy they explain to unravel and enlighten my dull cerebral regions, and as a result make a better bread.
Naturally there are institutions like the USDA telling the interested baker what is and what is not organic (defined), all natural (basically anything not coming from Mars) and what ingredients are allowed to make a good loaf of bread ( basically anything, even if it comes from Mars).
Some ask me to make a yeast free bread and dry it. Others inquire if we sprout the seeds (we do), have bread without salt ( we do not), while some abstain from flour for religious reasons and/or demand a flour-less bread that actually slims while they eat it. Friends recommend we use millet, rye, oats, spelt, hemp or rice to yield better results, not stone ground whole wheat flour like we do.
On a different part of the spectrum some people do not heat their food at all. They avoid honey, wool and leather to protect animals; a noble pursuit. Individuals approach me at markets offering to cleanse my spirits with a magic rub or invite me to participate in a six day meditation class in Northwestern Dakota. While the guy in the booth on the corner has a plastic stick filled with minerals. These sticks, he explains, absorb bad frequencies emitted by phones and electrical outlets.
My esteemed co-worker from Uruguay, a personable baker of 32, offered S- Super yellow Actio Plus baking improver, all natural he says, guaranteed to fourfold the volume of breads and no aftertaste whatsoever. Or at least brush the loaf with oil so it shines a little, he tells me. In Montevideo you would die from hunger with this kind of bread, he says.
Few tell me anything that’s good for other folks is bad for them and they couldn’t eat anything healthy, some do eat junk also for spiritual reasons I gather. Fortunately some of those people wear John Deere baseball caps just like I do, so I reckon we’re the same breed.
Others recommend a holistic approach, eclectic also and I was assured these are not synonyms for greater or better.
Well meaning customers recommend Whole Foods or Publix markets to help us sell more, others promise you wealth and happiness because they open a Farmer’s market of their own or start a magazine. I could get great discounts when posting a yearly ad for only $12,000 they tell me during stalker like calls.
Hindus and Buddhists come to the booth, all very peaceful and friendly, with an invitation to enhance my spiritual life. If I only had the time and appropriate peace of mind to even start such endeavour. Online publications encourage me to learn how to bake bread, become proficient in marketing, visit a seminar on search engine optimization in Modesto, California or handle my lousy accounting better.
A great guy once showed up with a frame of a wooden pyramid, promising that bad energy would be kept away from me and result in all embracing inner peace.
Sourdough, use only sourdough, because yeast is bad for you, people say. I do use sourdough in a mix with yeast because a long time ago somebody told me to. As a good German I spent the following nights learning about the exclusive use of sourdough in breads. The results were disheartening. Sourdough helps fermentation but it doesn’t really give even a moderate rise. And so quite a large amount of time goes into studying the feasibility of the great ideas I am entrusted with. On one of those late nights when the screen started to flicker, or maybe it was my eyes, the best wife of all asked me what was I doing at two in the morning on the computer? And when I answered that the issue of sun irradiation on rye is still a mystery, she just told me to get a life.