We had a casual backyard grill party on Saturday.
Some family, some friends, sausages on the grill, beer on ice, that kind of thing.
One friend, Dan Hardisty, brought a loaf of bread, still warm from the oven. Bread making is one of his current passions, and Dan is the type of person who fully invests himself in his passions.
We put it on the counter, with the intent of sharing it with all our guests, but somehow in the noise and hubbub of the afternoon, we forgot about it and didn’t realize the lapse until it was too late.
This morning we spent a lazy Sunday, sitting on the back deck, looking over the lush green mountain and the little meadow in front of us, and reading the Sunday Oregonian while the dogs lazed on the lounge chairs and dozed.
For breakfast I found Dan’s loaf of bread and toasted some up and slathered it with sweet butter.
A simple loaf of bread is a wonderful thing. It’s one of the great gifts that life provides for us. And Dan’s loaf of bread, a simple pain levain style, was perfect in all its simplicity. Crusty and chewy on the outside, but light and airy inside, not too thick or moist, and not too dry, it had that perfect balance.
The light toasting simply brought out some earthy elements and the smell of toast and melted butter were all we needed with our morning coffee. The flaky/chewy crust provided just the right amount of texture and resiliency to the teeth, and the toasted edges and slightly denser base gave up a satisfying crunch and gnaw.
Dan’s bread was so good, and so satisfying, that we continued to slice and toast and butter and munch and read until the paper was finished…and the loaf was half gone.
So thanks, Dan. That simple loaf of bread was quite a gift.