The Slow Play
I have a bit of a fascination with making stuff — especially food. Last year I learned how to make my own sourdough bread. If you’re not familiar with the process, it starts with flour and water. Then after a week or so of feeding it more flour and water, the wild yeast in the air begins to eat the sugars in the flour, causing it to ferment. Once the starter is ready, I combine it with flour, water, and salt to create the dough. Twenty-four hours later the dough is ready to to be baked.
A friend of mine recently upgraded his smoker and gave me his old charcoal smoker. Excitedly, I went to Costco and got a bunch of salmon. I first brined the salmon in water with sugar and salt and let it soak for a few hours. I then let the salmon dry out for a couple more hours before smoking it with alder for two hours. When I say two hours I mean that I babysat it, adding more wood chips to the smoker every fifteen or twenty minutes and regularly monitoring the temperature.
I could go to just about any grocery store and pick up a decent loaf of sourdough and a fillet of smoked salmon. I’d definitely save a ton of time. One begins to realize that when we purchase items from the store, we’re not just paying for the materials but we’re paying for the time it took for someone to make them for us.
Making stuff takes time. In our fast food, on demand, Amazon Prime culture, this is so easy to lose sight of. We think we can just have all we want, however we want it, when we want it. But that’s not really the case. Sourdough and smoking meat have taught me a bit about planning ahead and have helped me gain new appreciation for all that goes into making the things I buy. I’ve learned more about slowing down, being patient, and enjoying the process — not just the destination.
If you find yourself wishing you too could slow down and enjoy the process a bit more, let me know and I’ll send you a couple recipes.