Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Looking back..

It is difficult even to think about what to say. In the middle of this very fun exercise of daily blogging, my brother died. I did my best to continue, and I did well every day except for the very day of his funeral--frankly, the routine of doing the blog helped. Every routine helped.

To those of you who visited and sent condolences, thank you so much. It means a lot, this little connection.

You didn't know David, but he was a quirky, smart, SMART guy. So smart that many of us didn't even understand everything he did and we all seemed to butt heads with him often. But when we did, short hours (minutes) later would find us contentedly sharing some of his bread, some extra-virgin olive oil that he likely hand-carried back from Italy in a suitcase of his own design, kitted out with foam padding and cut-outs for bottles of wine and cans of olive oil (I came across the design plans as I went through his papers this week).

He was famous among family and friends for the bread--he worked hard on those recipes and, in true science fashion, his recipes are really formulas--vast spread sheets with variables, equations, questions, constants...

He always made great bread.

So today, please go open a bottle of wine you may have been saving for a special day. Pitch the sliced bread and either bake a loaf or go get REAL bread, good bread. Drizzle out a bit of really good olive oil, and savor it all with family and friends. Because today is a special day.


Anjuli said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother! I've never met you- but through this blogathon I felt a connection to you and send out hugs across blogville.

Congratulations on finishing- YOU DID WELL!

Jennifer said...

my heart is breaking for your loss. thank you for this amazing post. your an inspiration.

Jen @ My Morning Chocolate said...

A lovely tribute. I like your brother's suitcase idea; it's very creative. It's good that blogging is helping you process some of your feelings. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I'm curious, did you ever make bread with your brother? Do you think you'll use his recipes? I ask because the anniversary of my brother's death is in May and this year I felt a pull to make food that reminded me of him. It's amazing how food is tied to memory.

Take good care.

Michelle Rafter said...

I didn't realize this had happened until I read your message in the Google Group. I'm so sorry for your loss, and am amazed that you had the fortitude to continue with this challenge. Sending good thoughts to over over the internets.


Unknown said...

I'm so sorry I didn't know about your brother's death. I hope you have felt supported by friends and family, Barb. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'll never think of bread in the same way again.

Tara said...

I'm so sorry. Like Michelle, I didn't realize this until I saw it in the Google group. I've fallen off of reading lately. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for peace for your family.

Babette said...

Jen, I don't think David and I ever baked bread together together. He had it covered. Last summer, he made pizza dough and I took over making pizzas when he went to either enjoy the pizzas already made or just turned to another task.

I brought home a stack of spread sheets with his equations. "Spread Sheet for Levain" and "Spread Sheet for BETTER Levain." I will do my best.

While in Calif. at his house, wrapping up and sorting, we thawed some bread he had made and enjoyed it daily for breakfast and dinner. I found some little savory treats he had made after emailing me for some ideas. They went to a Slow Food dinner with him. It was a chocolate dinner and he wanted to make a savory chocolate dish, so he made kind of a mole and topped cornbread muffins with the mole and cheese and baked it. They were stale, but I liked getting to taste them anyway.

I wanted to take some bread baking "baskets" (the spirals of wood type baskets if you know what I mean), but I didn't want to ask for them. If his wife wants me to have them, I will happily take and use them.

I DID come home with a piece of cast-iron cookware that I will use often and I know I will think of him every time I use it.


celia said...

Barb, I'm so sorry to hear your news. We've been out of it a bit too, as we lost Pete's mother a couple of weeks ago. I know life goes on, but sometimes it's hard to remember that. I have baked a fresh ciabatta loaf today, and we will slice it in honour of your brother today. xxx

Meredith said...

I just came upon your blog and read the beautiful tribute to your brother. Thinking of you.