August 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

Here's a quote from Edward Espe Brown, who wrote the Tassajara Bread Book:

"It seems such a shame that as a culture we don't teach our children about the basic things in life -- bread making, gardening, sewing -- and the value of work. At some point, all these things got to be beneath our dignity. If you can't work with your hands, you lose the richness of your life and the sense of being productive.''


  1. Only losers* have gardens full of so many huge, ripe tomatoes that you're the envy of your neighbors and family.

    *Losers like me.

    Now, if I could just learn how to make bread like Tif. I know that I cannot sew--but Andrea has me covered in that department.

  2. Such a sense of satisfaction in those simple tasks. For most of us they aren't so simple!!!

  3. “If you can't work with your hands, you lose the richness of your life and the sense of being productive”.
    Interesting… this saying that working with your mind will not give you a sense of productivity? Is it insinuating that the “life of the mind” is not important in the “richness of your life”?
    Or is it merely saying that, the work of our hands brings satisfaction which is rarely appreciated in this day and age, and has merits that should not be overlooked by my “Virtual Everything” generation. The tangibility of the work and fruits of your hands does have power, and such labor should not be degraded for its plebian nature. Balance, as always, is the key—the key for which I’m still fumbling in the bottom of my purse. 
    One of my forms of balance is to enjoy working with my hands while working with my mind, i.e., philosophizing while I knead bread dough, praying while I mow the lawn, or reading while I brush my teeth (don’t drip on the pages!)
    I will admit, though, at times, it is soothing to let my body put everything into the task, and to not think about anything but performing that task to my physical best, which is achieved in part by a mental dedication to that task.
    When I do that, (such as cutting carrots and thinking about absolutely nothing but getting those roots slivered just right and not slicing my digits in the process) is that laziness, justifiable relaxation, wholehearted labor, or simply weird?
    I think it all depends on what’s in my heart—if I avoid thinking because there is something really important that I need to sort out with God and I refuse that call—it’s sinful.
    But if I’ve used my mind earlier (I’m not being a lazy sloth) and there’s nothing I’m running away from, then it’s just dandy.
    Basically, it all boils down to 1 Corinthians 10:31 :“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
    If that means I focus singly upon the task at hand that I may do my best to glorify God with that effort, or if I contemplate the nature of Truth as it relates to God while cutting veggies, it’s all cool.
    Perhaps all I’m really is saying it that I think overly much and it’s time for me to bake some bread and not think too deeply while I do so. :) Speaking of, I am posting that English Muffin bread recipe on my blog ( )—now!

  4. That sounds like the diabolical dialogue of a socialist mantra, seeking to indoctrinate us to do your work. Your job is to take care of your kids and provide for their every need so we can grow up happy, playing Xbox and eating junk food. Richness of life? Sense of productivity? Ha! Men were designed by God to bum off of their parents until they get married (it isn't good for man to be alone, he has to wash his own socks) and then the next woman takes over. Give me a beer and a remote.

    Firstborn child and the (temporarily) object of your outrage.

  5. Great quote. I just found out that we have a mutual friend. Julie Pichon was my doula and we've keep up the friendship outside of my pregnancies. She is the one who coordinates the summer study I just finished. She is a great lady.


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