Hold the Butter

We're dieting, Mr. Savory and I. Not something I am exactly proud to shout out. It admits some sort of failure in my mind--the failure to remember restraint.

At least we're doing it together.

We're being sensible. We are following specific guidelines and are filling the fridge and pantry with non-starchy veggies and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, chicken, tofu, yogurt, honey and nut butters. Eggs and olive oil are plentiful enough.

I've had a couple hungry days, but mostly I'm O.K. I'm far less tired in the afternoons, which is well received. I'm not hitting that wall of fatigue that my afternoon tea doesn't ever fully relieve.

But--and there's always a "but" isn't there? I miss the baked goods. I miss the mouth-feel of a scone, a muffin, a forkful of pancake with maple syrup.

It's the butter--it's really the only thing that's nearly absent, and my body remembers it. Butter, flour, sugar and the magic they create together.

I find myself thinking about when this diet is over, and what direction I will want go in. One can't just go back or at least one ought not to just go back to the old ways...

We could decide to go on indefinitely like this, just making sure we consume enough to maintain when the happy time comes.

Then I think of baking and the role it plays in my life. It's beyond the mouth-feel. It just boosts morale. It's cozy and cheery and makes everyone feel nurtured in a way that even the best salad can't.

At Christmas, Olivia and I packaged up lots of our cookies and went out in the neighborhood delivering to those we're closest to. I can't tell you how many thank-you's we received for weeks afterward.

Not only did the recipients thank us once, but sometimes each person in the family thanked each one of us separately. I said that I thought people must be very cookie deprived!

Even if for inspiration only, these "treats" (and they have to be though of as such now) will return. I see their role more clearly. I previously thought every day was Saturday, I suppose. Pie for breakfast on a Tuesday? Sure, why not.

That's why I haven't been writing to you about bread and all the other floury things in life. I've needed to nourish my body and my mind more optimally. My soul, however, if hovering around the flour jar and stalking bakery windows.

I think of it like wearing my jeans. I save mine for the weekend usually, even though I'm at home during the week. I like to feel that I've earned my downtime.