I paint silk, throw pots and collage poetry books & cards in my enchanted adobe studio in Pilar, New Mexico.

At the Sacred Heart Cafe, I make art to feed the hungry heart. Open all night, a warm place to wander and browse, savor and enjoy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Freshly Baked Bread in a Mica Bleassing Bowl from the Sacred Heart Cafe!

I baked four loaves of bread yesterday.  Two in standard baking pans and two in mica clay blessing bowls.  What a lovely globe of golden bread emerged from each of the bowls!  A bowl for baking bread?  Yes!  Because mica clay is ovenware, you may bake bread in mica pottery bowls.  And so I did, using an heirloom Sonoma whole wheat flour grown locally at the Huasna Valley Farm, owned by my friends Ron and Jen.  I consulted my favorite bread recipe of all time from the Tassajara Bread Book by Ed Espe Brown, a Zen monk.  If you have a desire to learn to mix, fold, knead, shape and bake exquisite breads, this is the book for you. The basic bread recipe has 14 pages of clear instructions, each step illustrated with pen and ink drawings.  It will teach anybody to bake bread.  Try it!   http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-1-59030-704-5.cfm

Recently I had the good fortune to meet Ed at a book signing of his reprinted Tassajara Bread Book.  I brought my battered (literally!) book for him to sign, and bought the new edition as well.  When I asked him what the difference was between the two editions, he said with great solemnity "The new one has chocolate (pointing to the new hardcover) and this one doesn't (pointing to my antique, bedraggled paperback from 1970)".  But he signed each book with a tender personal message in a slow and mindful penmanship, careful loops, full of grace.  I felt a dharma transmission from my bread baking guru that night as his pen slowly formed each letter in his notes to a stranger. 

Here's one of Ed's poems:

The truth is you're already a cook.
Nobody teaches you anything,
but you can be touched, you can be awakened.
Put down the book and start asking,
"What have we here?"

Though recipes abound, for soups and salads,
breads and entrées, for getting enlightened
and perfecting the moment, still
the unique flavor of Reality
appears in each breath, each bite,
each step, unbounded and undirected.

Each thing just as it is,
What do you make of it?

Edward Espe Brown


About my Mica Blessing Bowls:

Food can be a sacrament when baked with Love, and served in Beauty. Holy Food deserves a mica clay blessing bowl. An elegantly shaped bowl luminous with mica and blessed with magnificent fire clouds, where no glaze chemicals were used. The clay is a tawny russet, infused with a constellation of mica stars. The smoke patterns from the final pit fire, are called fire clouds. A mica blessing bowl is mesmerizing as you gaze into the starry universe of its interior curve.

The Sacred Heart Cafe has two of these bowls suitable for baking tasty loaves:
"Magma"     http://www.1000markets.com/users/pattymara/collections/3076/products/71014

"Calico"        http://www.1000markets.com/users/pattymara/collections/11631/products/114421

They are kiln mates, born from the same litter of New Mexico clay.

No comments:

PattyMara's Sacred Heart Cafe's Fan Box

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio
click on the photo to go to my online shop for mica clay cups, bowls, Sacred Hearts and jewelry

The Value of Play in Creativity

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."

C. G. Jung