How many lives has this spill really taken?

•May 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Nasa is publishing pictures of the oilspill. It is huge. This country will investigate how this happened. We mourn the dead workers and grieve with their families. But, do we really consider the animals who found their death in this tragedy? We humans are a speciest species. When we hear of lifes lost we think of the big prefrontal cortex kind of life. I grieve also for those who couldn’t have seen this coming. They also breathe, reproduce and may or may not have emotions. What harms the least of these also harms us.


The Bread of my Childhood

•March 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have been searching for the perfect bread ever since I arrived in the United States 27 years ago. I grew up in Nuernberg, Germany. On Saturday mornings, my mother would give me carefully counted coins and a list of things to fetch from the shops. Cold cuts from the butcher shop, milk and cheese from the milk shop and my favorite… bread from the bakery.
There is nothing quite like cradling a huge loaf of oval or round bread, still slighty warm, with its crackling crust wafting its aromatic wheat scent into my nostrils. Fresh and good German bread is soft and spongy in the middle with a crust hard enough to scrape your knuckles when knocking on it.
I have bought bread made by the homesick German wives of American soldiers for up to $5.00 a pound. I have hunted down tiny German shops in small obscure American towns just to see if they made good German bread. For a tightwad I have spent an unbelievable amount of money in search of this elusive commodity. I have tried to make it myself … unsucessfully. Finally I’ve grudgingly settled for a $7.00 loaf of whole grain miche from the Panera Bread Company. I had almost given up my dream.
But today I am in 7th heaven. Deb has finally gotten around to trying the master recipe in “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. I came home to a small flat loaf of bread, barely 1 pound, sitting on the counter. I asked her it it was any good and she told me it didn’t come out right. With a dismissive shrug she said “It’s spongy on the inside and the crust is barely chewable.” Once again hope rose from my heart, or stomach. It is hard to tell which is which with me. I cut a slice and bit into it. Bells literally started ringing in my head. I found the perfect German bread on my kitchen counter. Thank you Deb for baking it and thank you Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois for the recipe.